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Posts Tagged ‘Blackberries’

Blackberries; Those little berries that grow quite happily in the hedgerow for anybody inclined to pick them, wash them and make them into something truly delicious.

They remind me of summer times previous to now when my mum and I would get on our bikes and head for some fields not far from where we lived, in seek of such delights. This was before the modern age of popularity in foraging. At the time I just saw it as a great day out – truly happy to arrive back later in the day stained purple in the face and hands (and probably clothes…) and ready to help turn our free produce into an apple and blackberry crumble; which is invariably what would happen due to the Brambly apple tree which still to this day stands proud in our back garden laden with fruits.

My childhood is filled with food memories like this – looking back whilst writing this it seems like I lived a bit of a fairytale existence as regards food. My mum was not particularly health conscience, she let us eat sweets but my brother and sister and I were also used to the vegetables pulled fresh from the garden in the summer, which as I have written before we pretty much took for granted. In fact, at the time I don’t think I even realised that everyone else on my road did not get food the same way. However, the popularity for foraging seems to now be focused on buzz words – food miles, waste not, freshness – things ironically that the food industry likes to promote. It seems strange that nobody seems to really mention that it is free, of course this is a factor I am sure for some people still, but I think this is the main reason as to why I have these memories, rather than anything of the above. We were not a well off family, and this simply helped the budget along I guess.

However, to some extent, money in irrelevant. And I think that is an important value to learn, but one which the Food Industry never will even though I wish it could, as it definitely might improve the situation of some of our food we consume. Anyway, let us not go into that today. I want to talk about another of my favourite food memories which was in some woods that a friend of my mum happened to own. We used to go there a lot, in fact I had one of my birthdays (maybe when I was about 12?) there; waking up in a tent which had been decorated with brightly coloured balloons among the trees is a memory that not many people my age can say they have.

 The people who owned the woods lived there in a yurt – a fascinating building they had built themselves with willow branches and canvas and one evening when we visited, I remember these huge mushrooms (purely for eating, nothing else) which must have been picked nearby, being roasted over a campfire using a stick and broken up between the group. A piece filled my little hands and being the ever adventurous one when it comes to eating – I took a bite. Smokey, nutty, amazing. And a flavour I don’t think I have had the privilege to receive since.

It is memories like these that keep my interest in food alive. I probably did not have a traditional childhood per say, but when I have had experiences like these, why would anyone want one?

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