Must admit they are a poor looking bunch and will probably be more seed than fruit but beggars can’t be chosers.
It was a nice evening when I went over to pick ’em but I was wearing my protective wet weather gear.
Reason being the brambles are growing in the roughest spot you can imagine and I had to fight my way through not only the spiky bramble tentacles but nettles – gorse – wild roses and every jaggy stinging thing on the planet including thistles to get to them.
At one stage I was wishing I had worn my crash helmet and bike boots too but despite a major setback I did manage to fill three punnets before darkness fell.
I was picking into the setting sun and didn’t notice a deep ditch behind the wall —
Not untill I straightened from my task to applaud a lone violinist when she finished her solo spot down on the rocks by the shore.
That was when the brambles got their revenge! On the third or fourth clap their creeping tentacles ensnared my ankles making me lose my balance and before I could say ‘oh ye bugger’ I was emulating a beached whale out of her sight in the bracken covered bear trap —
At one stage I thought I was there for the night as I had gone down on my back with a thud. Sheepish and disheviled maybe but I was soon on my feet and fortunate to find my specs amongst the thick foliage … of my hard earned punnet of picked fruit there was no sign.
No worries – I soon recovered and filled the remaining three I carried in my rucksack and made my way home as the sun set.
I reckon that thud had shaken something into place in my aching back as I haven’t felt a twings since my fall.
Back in the safety of my kitchen with brambles full of gritty seeds the best way to treat ’em is to throw a few peeled – cored and diced Bramley apples with a pinch of cloves along with the berries into the sugary mix in the big pan.
I certainly give mine a lot longer boiling time than the cookery books advise then pass the lot through the fine mesh of a metal sieve before decanting into jars. There isn’t much wasted in my kitchen – even the tasty if seedy/clove mix can be used on a sandwich – if you don’t mind picking bits out of your teeth.
And – yes – I had a few jars of tasty Bramble n Apple jelly. Not only did it set second time round but tasted wonderful and was well worth the scratches and nettle stings I endured to harvest them. There’s nothing better than a ‘jeely piece’ at my teabreak when I’m out on the Raleigh on a good day.
A result! 🙂