I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at www.linzertortes.blogspot.co.uk. Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
Published September 5th 2012
Foraging opportunities are quite rare in a city (no, the bins outside Tesco don't count), so I like to take them when I can get them. In this case, it was in Pilrig Park to pick brambles. All you need is some empty plastic tubs. Brambles, also known as blackberries, are delicious with apple, bubbling away under a crumble topping, or sieved for pips and turned into a bramble jelly.
I keep my eye out for bramble bushes on summer walks and take a mental note of where I've seen big clumps of them. All the better to return in the autumn to gather the glossy, black berries. They ripen slowly over the course of month or so, therefore to gather enough of them for crumble, you really need a hedgerow or two to harvest.
To begin with, it didn't look very promising in the park. The brambles were peeking over an impassable wall, and I could barely reach a few ripe ones. However, I had spotted some bushes on one of the less popular park entrances a few months previously, so we headed round there and struck black, shiny gold:
There were hordes of berries, and although there were tracks around the bushes, none seemed to have been picked. We made our way through nettles and grass, getting further and further round into a bit of land behind a small industrial estate, filling up the tub as we went. Before long we had a tub completely full of brambles, and we started filling another one.
We are planning a return trip in a week, but I think I'll take my husband along this time. He can reach the really high ones that no-one else will get!
As for plans of what to do with the brambles, well, I'm going to try a much more homemade Christmas this year, so they might just be helping along some bramble-flavoured vodka for family and friend hampers. Far less complicated than jelly or pie!