England to me is a berry country, because they are simply everywhere in the summer and autumn. Wherever you walk, whether it is deep in a copse or on a sidewalk, you have to watch your step because of the bramble branches. With all their thorns they do hurt when they unashamedly prick your hands when you rough handle them absent-mindedly. These blackberry plants grow ferociously in the summer and if you have one in your garden you probably know by now that you have to trim the damn thing year in and year out. There is an upside though. Around August and September brambles get into the “giving spirit” before Christmas and produce beautiful, dark, and plump berries ripe for the picking. Let me tell you how to pick just the best.
If the berry is red or purple, it’s not ripe yet. If you thought a lemon is sour, taste an unripe blackberry and you’ll never make the mistake again. Mature berries are deep black with a plump, full feel. It will pull free from the plant with only a slight tug.
This autumn Robyn and I strolled in the small wooded area next door, searching for berries. We didn’t need to look very hard because around every corner there were bushes growing wild with clumps of berries trying to lure us. After harvesting a few kilos of the berries, we devoured as much as humanly possible and then the rest we froze.
Clearing out the freezer before our family’s upcoming holiday I came across containers crammed with frozen berries. During winter season the fruit selection in the UK is so dull I could die. We go shopping and what do they have? Apples and pears. Next shop. Apples and pears AND oranges. Wow! Oranges! Next shop. Apples and *$”$^% pears. Next shop. Apples and pears AND clementines. Amazing! Fancy that. Next shop. $£$&^ apples and %£&*%£ pears. %£^%£ &^% *breathe* $*”$^&”^% £&*£”$£&$ £&^$”$!!!! Do you catch my drift? A lot of times the imported exotic fruit don’t ripen fully and taste disastrous. For someone coming from South Africa the fruit scene at times is majorly depressing. So finding a stash of blackberries in the freezer was the highlight of my month. What better way to celebrate than to make smoothies out of them?
Find drink inspiration elsewhere in the blogosphere:
- Coffee & Vanilla kept things light and fresh with her watermelon smoothie.
Blackberry & Yoghurt Smoothie
Preparation: 5 mins – Cooking: None
- 250g (9 oz) frozen blackberries
- 500g (1lb 2oz) plain natural yoghurt
- 30ml (2 tbsp) caster sugar (optional)
- mint sprigs for garnishing
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
- You can use low-fat yoghurt instead.
- Add more sugar is the drink is too sour.