Is there anybody out there?

Dear Tom

Whilst we have both been busy, you with your business trips, holidays, rowing, bathroom crisis and I with end of term, school holidays, trips to the Olympics and general hecticness it has come to my attention that the grass has been growing under our feet. Literally. Firstly the rain swamped our feet, then the heat caked the mud, but somehow, in all of this seasons madness, the summer hero has arrived. No, no, put away your cape, I don't mean you, I mean the humble yet feisty, the sweet personality that can be unexpectedly sharp, the lovely, energetic but sometimes prickly personality which is the common blackberry! Every foraging beginners easiest picking. Yet so versatile, so readily available and still under used.

Our summer holidays here are always built around the purple stained fingers that blackberry picking brings. I would go as far to say that foraging these lovely fruits is an extreme sport, for often the best looking ones are high up or over hanging gorse bushes and nettles. You can't call yourself a forager until you have the bramble scratches to show for your hunting efforts. I took a friend, Dannie, foraging for black berries last week, and she did moan a bit whilst picking. She knew that's where we were headed but wore light coloured short trousers and flip flops!! Jeans, shoes and long sleeves are required for this job, or possibly children who can be easily bribed.

Anyway, I was thinking, that you must have spotted a bramble or two by the riverside, so how about some blackberry recipes? We could ask our readers to submit their own to share and I can let you have a few of mine. I might steer clear of the alchemy of Jam making as who knows what might happen to you trying that, but a fruit leather, a pie, flavoured alcohol and lovely vinegars ought to suit you?

What do you think?

Readers, what do you think?

Maybe we can have some "Gluttony" recipes sent in too, recipes from gardeners who get the glut of beans or courgettes, for those moments when you need a book called 1001 uses for courgettes and can only think of ratatouille !!

Hope you are OK in your over grown garden?

Yours with renewed enthusiasm,



  1. You're back!!! Cool. I dont like blackberries :(

  2. Hi Mandy, What about if you made something grown up with them, like blackberry vodka/gin ?