We've were fortunate enough to get some sunny weekends, followed by a full week of sun not long ago. Autumn is full of sunshine in Ireland... and blackberries.
We took advantage of one of the nice weekends to go blackberry picking at the most wonderful patch of blackberries ever. The caveat was... everything surrounding the blackberries (and they themselves, included) was spiky.
As if the berry bushes were not enough with their long thorns, there were also stinging nettles growing amongst them, gorse bushes sticking out between them, and lots of other sharp, stabby plants. Picking these berries was no small chore.
V's arms got the brunt of it - I am a very petite picker, picking only the biggest, prettiest berries and staying well away from pointy plants, and stinging stems. I'm such a baby when it comes to getting pricked by nature (and yet, I do love the outdoors, go figure). Nonetheless, I came away with two yoghurt containers full of berries - enough to make three rather large jars of jam! V walked away with enough for 10 litres of wine (which we'll be able to sample sometime in March or April).
The jam came out delicious even despite the troubles I had (I didn't boil it long enough, so it didn't set and I had to do it over - and I added a bit too much citric acid) - so if you don't mind a spot of jam with a tart aftertaste, do stop by for some toast!