Or, as GooGoo says, “Buck Booey-ohs”.
Our property is atangle with blackberries. They’re not all that easy to get to, but in 2011 we still got a pretty good amount bagged up in our freezer – enough to get us through the year – plus a batch of freezer jam that only recently got all used up.
This year, the berries decided to all start to ripen when Lou Who was just a couple weeks old. So we started picking. Then Dan noticed our neighbour had some really large and luscious ones over by the Old Falling Apart House across the street, and got permission from him for us to pick them. We got a lot more that way for our time than picking the ones here on our property (though I still check the bushes by the road that are pretty easy to access).
I made a batch of jam from this recipe and filled up 10 baby food jars and two slightly larger jars and popped it in the freezer. (This recipe tasted really good, but it did not set up as promised. I think maybe I should have cooked it a little longer.) I also made a second batch from this recipe. I liked that it had so much less sugar (I didn’t use the Ball pectin, though). It didn’t set up all that well either, but it did say it was a soft-set jam, so maybe that’s as set as it gets.
Next we went to Snag Boat Bend to pick blackberries and got a tremendous haul there. Sadly, I didn’t have room in my fridge for all we brought home and the last two trays’ worth I froze had started to ferment. They tasted nastily alcoholic to me and were starting to be wormy, so I had to pitch them. What a pity, but I guess our garden got a good meal.
Tragically, the second batch of jam I made (from the Snag Boat berries) is full of worms, too. I pulled some out for company and was glad I looked at it first because it was full of them. I guess I’m enough of a hick that had there only been one or two I’d have just picked them out and used the jam anyway, but we’re talking a LOT of worms here. Disgusting. I’m not sure how I totally missed seeing them when I mashed up the berries. So I pulled out the previous unwormy batch of jam instead.
Lesson learned: our blackberries (and our neighbour’s) have no worms, even though they’re smaller and harder to get to. Snag Boat berries are easier and bigger, but clearly infested. Blech.
Do you pick berries where you are? What kind and what do you usually do with them?