Hidden beneath large broad leaves, juicy mulberries ripen out of sight – undisturbed except for the elderly and inquisitive children. I came across a grove of them walking through one of the expanses of parkland that open up a few kilometers out of the city center (exact location secret) and this year collected a kilogram for a rich chunky jam. A perfect morning stroll and afternoon activity. And a perfect excuse for tree climbing with the kids (not that one is needed).
In a city where going strawberry picking is an all-day, high-cost trip out to a neighbouring prefecture discovering a plentiful harvest down the road is magical and spirit-lifting.
(1) Get some berries, wash them. Remove stalks if you like, but those in the know leave them for ‘bite’.
(2) Put them in a pot with some water, sugar and lemon juice, boil them (add a bit of gelatin powder if you like).
(3) When all feels right, stop boiling.
(4) Blend for smooth, leave as-in for chunky. Bottle.
Note: If this recipe is too vague for you [click here].
View a few more gratuitous berry shots on the Flickr set [here]
Tip: A good rule of thumb = when you see the elderly hunched over picking at the ground, foraging, or shaking trees, get in quick – (and pick their brains for cooking advice: they have the key knowledge).