Blackberries aka Brambles
Blackberries (or brambles) can be found throughout the Northern hemisphere and in South America, although they will struggle in the far North but with climate change we may see a movement north. Indeed, last year I found blackberries in December and there were enough for a blackberry and apple crumble! Blackberries can be found as the understory in woods and forests, on waste ground, on the edges of parks and really it would seem almost anywhere they choose.
Foraging for blackberries
Many make the mistake when out foraging for blackberries of using a plastic carrier bag. This is a mistake you will only make once, as its easy to tear the bag. When the blackberries end up within a mass of thorns there is no way you’d want to lose that amount of delicious fruit again. It is these thorns that give blackberries one of their country names “lawyers”, once they trap you in it is very difficult to get loose!
It is interesting to note that blackberries used to be the garden plant, whilst raspberries would be seen as wild. Over the last 500 or more years this has changed and changed rather dramatically.
Blackberries are excellent for wine making but perhaps that is not so easy to make on your lunch break, much better to mix them with a whole load of delicious calories!
If you have an understanding boss you can make this at work, all you need to bring in with you is an electric whisk, a sieve and a couple of bowls. If you don’t have an understanding boss try and tempt them with a bowl (emphasising the word fool when you offer it for your own amusement), “Do you want some blackberry fool”.
150g Caster Sugar
Juice of Half a Lemon
400ml Double Cream
3 Drops Vanilla Essence
Push the blackberries through a sieve and combine with the sugar in a bowl. Squeeze in the lemon juice. In a separate bowl whisk the double cream until thick, adding the vanilla essence. Fold the contents of the bowls together. Pop in the fridge to chill for an hour or so. Then serve.
Mouth-watering Blackberry, Chocolate Yogurt Parfait
Ridiculously simple to make but if you sit at your desk eating this the dieters in your office won’t thank you for it.
1 tub of Greek yogurt
Half teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Dark Chocolate Chopped up into Chunks
50g Chopped Hazelnuts
Mix the yogurt with the cinnamon and put half of it into a wine glass. Layer half the chocolate and half the hazelnuts. Mash half the blackberries and layer on top. Spoon in the rest of the yogurt mixture and cover with the rest of the chocolate and nuts. If you want to jazz it up a bit then use a mixture of different nuts.