Monday, 11 February 2013

it's worth it

they drove north west into the open landscape and were surprised by how dry it was
it didn't rain in january they said 
the blackberry bushes growing close to where she used to live were parched
leaves berries and canes all withering helplessly 
she remembered somewhere else
close to the railway bridge over riddell's creek
a huge oak lovingly arching its massive branches
offering solace from that heartless celestial orb
nestled into the shoulder of the railway embankment
there're only a few small blackberries they said
they picked fingers stained scratched and bleeding
it's worth it they said

from wikipedia

blackberry and elderberry jelly
tea with hazel


blackberries and elderberries* (a fork easily removes elderberries from their stalks)
filtered water


~ wash berries well, pick off any remaining stalks, and drain well
~ place berries in a large saucepan and just cover with water
~ bring to the boil and then simmer gently until the berries are soft
~ once they are soft mash the berries with a potato masher
~ pour the berries and juice into a jelly bag or muslin lined colander placed over a large bowl
~ place in the fridge once cooled and leave to drain for 24 hours (for a clear jelly don't squeeze the bag) 
~ measure the juice and for every 600 mls use 450 gms sugar and the juice, pips and pulp of one lemon
~ wrap the lemon pips and pulp in muslin and tie securely
~ put the berry juice, sugar, lemon juice and muslin sachet in a large saucepan and put on to heat
~ heat gently stirring until the sugar granules dissolve
~ increase heat and boil vigorously until the jelly reaches a good set**
~ pour into sterilised jars***

notes: *   this year, for the first time since i planted my elderberry, i have managed to pick a few umbrels but alone they were not enough to make a jelly so i added them to the blackberry jelly
           **/*** go here for information on jam/jelly set, sterilisation and other useful jam making tips

a lot of effort for only one 750 ml jar of jelly
but it's worth it!


  1. The brambles were just beginning to wake up here and the elders are still completely naked. Now they are hidden by snow.
    pinning this for later on, thanks x

    1. it's been so hot here in melbourne that the thought of snow is very appealing..but i'm sure you're looking forward to spring..x

  2. What a lovely poem, Jane! Jam looks delicious! x

    1. thanks celia..the jelly is delicious..i did more blackberry picking last week and got 3 kgs and they are a lot better quality than the first lot..x

  3. Another one for the list. Pinned it. I have complete faith in your recipes, thanks :)