Enlisted the help of some younger family members to gather blackberries at the weekend. I had gathered a trayful of fallen apples and thought blackberry and apple jelly would be a great recipe to use them up. Having convinced the picking force that blackberries did not have to be eaten on the spot but could be used in other ways sufficient blackberries were picked for the task.
No time like the present for using the fruit so it was weighed, washed and added to the pan with the chopped apples and simmered gently for a while to soften the fruit. As we all enjoyed the sweet fruity aroma I was soon transported back to my own childhood.
Every year relatives would visit laden with bags of cooking apples. Much as we loved apple pies there had to be other uses found that would preserve them as we had no fridge let alone a freezer. The solution was to go blackberry picking and for the black enamel cauldron used as a preserving pan to be dragged out to boil up the fruit for jelly. I loved it on bread instead of our usual jam but it was the smell that pervaded the house as it cooked that brought back these memories this weekend.
The strained juice just needs to be boiled up with sugar to reach setting point and then the jars of deep maroon jelly can be lined up in the cupboard just as my mother used to display them on the larder shelves. I suspect that I won’t be salting beans or bottling tomatoes as she did, however.
Sometimes we overlook how important our lesser senses are in evoking memories. Smell, taste and touch are just as important as sight and sound.