7 March 2015

The blackberry harvest is in full swing, and we cannot collect enough.  Many of the blackberries are already turning soft and squishy in our fingers, though in certain more shady patches they are perfect for picking.  We came home after a couple of hours with about 10 kilos, however, not quite sure what we were going to do with them all.  I quickly discovered over the ensuing days that blackberries do not have a long shelf life and some processing had to be done quickly.  Luckily I had a spare day today being a public holiday, otherwise they may have just gone to waste.

Jam – simple blackberry, and a wild apple and blackberry combination.  Apple trees are currently fruiting, heavily laden and easily found in suburbia, behind office buildings and on nature strips.  Lemons on the other hand are not in season!

Blackberry vinegar – found a great recipe on Atomic Shrimp for blackberry vinegar and its various uses, such as cordial and as a cough mixture.  It will be another couple of days before I can judge its success via a taste test.

Blackberry muffins – winner with the kids.

Blackberry sauce – again, a winner, especially over ice-cream.

Frozen blackberries – this was surprisingly successful.  After washing and picking out the best blackberries I laid a single layer (about 250 grams) on a tray covered with baking paper and popped them in the freezer overnight.  The next day I was able to roll them into a plastic bag to store frozen for future use.  Last week I experimented by rolling blackberries in sugar to freeze, however unfortunately, they seemed to clump together and a liquid has pooled at the bottom of the container.

We have far too many bushes for our needs, so most will have to go, if not all, as there are plenty of wild blackberries in the near vicinity.  Lots of fun was had, but I most definitely do not want to spend another weekend dealing with a glut of blackberries!

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