Lets go brambling!

bramble n. rough prickly shrub of the genus Rubus with long trailing shoots, esp. blackberry-bush.
Oxford English Dictionary.
Blackerry jam and homemade bread in the croft kitchen
Blackerry jam and homemade bread in the croft kitchen

Is it the time of year or the advancing years that makes one prone to nostalgia?

Sunday afternoon bike rides with my Dad were always wonderful excursions into the countryside where there were always new things to discover – from wildflowers and butterflies to nettle stings and grazed knees. Whilst a bottle of lemonade with a straw and a cheese and onion cob (roll) at the local hostelry were always a treat nothing could beat going home with a basket full of blackberries and the expectation that there would be a blackberry and apple pie to cheer up washday Monday.
To this very day I can’t resist an invitation to go brambling – it immediately conjures up golden autumn afternoons, the sweet sour taste of blackberries, purple stained lips and fingers, and a magical immunity to the pain of scratches from the briars and thorns.

Blackberry and apple pie or crumble are both great favourites, but nothing is nicer than a thick slice of homemade bread and lashing of blackberry jam. I know it is full of seeds but it is still so superior to bramble jelly. It is also quicker and easier to make!
The recipe used by Himself is on the Croft Kitchen page.

On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on blackberries.
When Lucifer was expelled from Heaven, he fell from the skies into a blackberry bush. He cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, spat and stamped on them and made them unfit to eat! Old Michaelmas Day, 10th October, is the last day on which blackberries should be picked.

12 thoughts on “Lets go brambling!

  1. The bright side of an evil weed…yes, they are delicious. Thanks for sharing a memory. a recipe and a myth…nice way to start my day. Blackberry/pear is a nice pie combo too.

    • Nice of you to drop by. Folklore, myths and legends, and of course fairy tales were very much part of my childhood and an outing was always an excuse for a story.

  2. For some reason that’s something I never did with my own family, but I clearly remember discovering and picking wild raspberries with a friend’s family on a camping weeknd (age about 8 or 9), but unfortunately I also discovered and picked wild mushrooms/toadstools at the same time and had such a sound telling-off that I would never look a mushroom picked in the wild in the face since, let alone eat it! I will consult Himself’s jam recipe, but I have too many of my own berries to pick wild ones at the moment. Does it set readily?

    • The wild blackberry ham set very easily, but the pectin in the preserving sugar is a help. I’ve not used the cultivated type but if you’re not sure you could always add some apple.
      Wild mushrooms – delicious but you have to know what you are doing, fortunately Himeslf is an expert.

  3. What a wonderful memory of you and your Dad! I remember strawberry picking with my Dad. And afterwards? All the different ways to enjoy freshly picked fruits. Mmmmmmm….

    • My parents are still alive but rather frail now, so childhood memories are very special.

  4. Christine B.

    Drat! Lucifer must also have cursed the blackberries to never grow in Alaska. I haven’t heard of anyone growing them successfully in these parts. Not for lack of trying.
    I’ll have to settle for homemade bread with raspberry jelly….
    Christine in Alaska, under snow at the moment

    • Himself would probably sell his soul to be able to grow raspberries. Our land is far too alkaline and raspberry canes go yellow and die before they hit the ground. Do you have cloud berries (Rubus chamaemorus)?
      I’d willingly send you a jar but I suspect your it would meet the disapproval of your Customs and Excise men. Care to indulge in some jam smuggling? I’d willing trade blackberry jam for Alaskan salmon, arctic char, smoked caribou (never tried moose) or raspberry jelly.
      Christine in the Outer Hebrides in a gale and driving rain (not literally I’m in my office listening to Puccini!)

  5. That bread looks so good. I am a nut for homemade bread. Thanks for the story about Lucifer, I did not know that.

    • Always pleased to share. Himself is the croft bread maker and rather good at it – I can’t even cut a slice that doesn’t resemble a door wedge!

  6. Oh this post is magical. Lovely. I too have fond memories of brambling and have finally re visisted the activity as an adult with my little girl making both crumble and pie. I want to go again to freeze some for the coming months.

    • Thank you. It is the perfect autumn day for brambling and it has never lost its magic. I’m also very partial to blackberry and apple pie.

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