Memories of Blackberrying

Of course your blackberries always had worms in when they were picked

 

My mother was a very keen jam maker and we’d go to the Eastham Woods in Cheshire and pick the blackberries and she’d make this gorgeous blackberry jelly.  She used to sift it, blackberries are seeded so of course you’d extricate all of that, so there was just the fruit left.  We’d go to the woods and we’d pick, pick, pick and get loads of blackberries and mum would make the jelly.

I was about seven then, I was the youngest of four girls.  I quite enjoyed it, I was in my element really, it was a little bit infra dig for them, they didn’t want to pick blackberries.  Then I always helped when it came to making the jam, I helped with all the necessaries.  Half the time she didn’t need me there, but it was just to put me in the picture – she was like that.  Then of course she made it and it used to come out gorgeous jelly, like jam – blackberry jelly!  It was superb you know, I used to rave about it.  She’d say, “You can have an extra bit”, this was just her method of keeping everyone happy you know!

It meant a lot to me and I think with being the youngest, Mum paid more attention to me because the others weren’t interested.  They wanted to go with their friends, and they wanted to do this, and they wanted to do that.  Whereas I used to say “Oh, it’s great mum, it’s great Mum, it’s great” and I used to love picking.  She used to say to them, Freda got most of the brambles, there’ll not be as much jelly this year and they’d all dive in and get some more for her.  She was just egging them on to get some more!

Being the youngest I was so keen.  Even when it came down to doing the jelly when we got home.  Everything had to be washed and of course your blackberries always had worms in – the others all used to do that bit!  I’d say “Oooh, look at this” and they’d say, “Go away you horrible little brat”.  It was only because I was drawing attention to the worm and the age I was, it was only a little bit of devilishness you know!

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