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‘Tis the season!

Berry picking in Ireland.

I ran out of my precious stock of last year’s frozen blackberries a little over a month ago and had to bite the bullet and buy berries at the store…yikes! We like lots of frozen berries in our morning smoothies that I make nearly every day and therefore, go through a bag easily in two to three days. It’s around €3 for a small bag of raspberries and I haven’t seen blackberries at all lately. This year I’m going to have to make sure I pick enough to last until next year’s batch.

I have been eyeing the bushes waiting for the white flowers to disappear as the new berries arrive. Today, all of my “eyeing” was rewarded. Berry season has finally begun at the Cammack household! While the kids napped I went to my happy place, a big bunch of berry bushes within sight of my front door, and picked for about 15 minutes until my container was nearly two thirds full. They are just beginning to ripen so the picking is slower than normal and required extra amounts of stretching and barreling through thorn bushes to reach the few truly ready berries. My efforts and sore sticker pricked fingers were rewarded when my daughter’s eyes lit up at the site of her favorite food. She quickly reached for my bucket and downed a couple child size handfuls; I had to hide the rest for my new freezer stash. Later, I brought her to the berry patch where she could pick them for herself. After a few “sticker owies” she decided that it was better to watch mommy pick while she held the bucket and gave commands…smart  two year old! I realized none of the berries in her bucket would ever reach the house and gave up trying to save any from this particular picking session.

 

BerryseasonC (5)BerryseasonB (1)BerryseasonB (2)

For the next month or two I plan to pick berries for at least a few minutes most days as long as the bushes hold out. I love country living in Ireland!

I like to rinse my berries in a plastic strainer and then place wax paper on a baking tray and freeze the berries in a single layer. Once frozen, I put the berries in ziplock plastic bags and stack in the bottom of my freezer.

BerryseasonA (4) BerryseasonB (4) BerryseasonC (3)

Things I use berries for:

  • Scones with blackberries
  • Blackberry jam
  • Smoothies
  • Blackberry pear cobbler

I love the blackberries in Ireland.

 

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Heather Cammack
I came to live in Ireland several years ago following the love of my life…an Irish man. Now I’m happily married and the mother three. We live in the country with a view of an ancient castle ruins out our back windows and each day I am grateful to be alive, to be loved, to be here.