So I pruned the blackberry bush in the back garden this spring, pruned it hard. It was throwing too many spiky canes toward the outside table instead of lurking demurely in the corner by the water butt like it’s supposed to. I taught it manners with the blades of my secateurs.
I wasn’t thinking of the berries, honest, but it’s produced a greater volume of them than last year as a result of my efforts at barbering†. They’re still seedy and, where their weight has dragged the branches to the ground, sandy. Maybe it’s the wet year (my tomatoes seem to have caught some kind of rot and are wilting horribly with green fruit still on the vine), maybe it’s the sparse and sandy soil the plant’s rooted in; I don’t know. I do know I’m not going to spend too much energy nursing a Himalayan blackberry bush*.
But still I have these blackberries, too numerous to waste but too seedy to put in my breakfast cereal. And so I bethought myself of something I read here once—not live, mind, since it predates me, but in one of my retrospective trawls.
Thus for this is what I am doing, or a near approximation thereof. This morning I bought a bottle of inexpensive vodka§, and some of it sits in an earthenware pot along with macerated berries and a little lemon peel. This is, I hope, the beginning of a beautiful friendship‡.
Anyone else stocking the pantry for the autumn or planning the garden for the spring?
† Or barbarous efforts, if you will.
* Some things deserve to live in a Hobbsean state of nature.
§ Not overproof, so I suppose technically this will be blackberry vodka rather than blackberry liqueur. I’m not proud; I’ll drink either.
‡ Albeit a tragic and doomed one, like Romeo and Juliet on a double date with Drusilla and Spike.