I was delighted to team up again with my friend Mandy from Mud Pie Adventures for our third family food and foraging outdoor event. Following on from our Garlic Bear Hunt and Blaeberry Bash, it was time for an Autumnal Bramble Ramble. 90 adventurers joined us over two sessions in the woods at Hazlehead Park. The weather could have been kinder in the morning but all came equipped with wellies and waterproofs. Takes more than a downpour to dampen our enthusiasm but it does make everything just that little bit trickier.
We were slightly concerned as to how many berries may be left at the end of the season. I took along an emergency supply from my freezer to supplement any shortfall but there were still plenty to be found.
On our way to base camp we stopped off to try another tasty foraged treat. Beech nuts. They are hard work to harvest as not every case contains a nut and they are rather fiddly to open. More of a wayside snack than a bountiful wild food feast.
Our camp had been established surrounded by plenty of hills, dens, trees, rocks and muddy puddles to explore. We had three fires going, two in dustbin lids and one in Foodie Loon's trusty washing machine drum fire pit.
First on the menu were Apple and Bramble Parcels. Lots of fun peeling, coring and slicing on the Apple Master from Lakeland. I've had mixed results with this gadget on odd sized and misshapen apples from the garden but it worked very well on perfectly apple shaped ones.
The chopped apple was placed in a square of strong tinfoil along with some brambles, demerara sugar, butter and cinnamon. These were formed into parcels before being tucked into the charcoal embers on one of the campfires.
Next up was bramble butter to spread on brioche toasted over the campfire. We shook up double cream in jam jars - a great workout for bingo wings - added brambles and honey or sugar for a bit of sweetness. After mashing it all together we had a fantastic pink butter to spread on our toast.
The final menu item was bramble smoothies. The last of the berries were squished up in a ziplock bag before adding natural yogurt, honey and milk and squishing a bit more. The resulting smoothie looked and tasted great.
Time to rescue our bramble and apple parcels from the firepit and sit down to enjoy our foraged feast. Being outdoors certainly works up an appetite and there were clean plates and cup all round plus some leftover butter to take home and enjoy later. Thanks as always to all those who joined us - we hope you all had as much fun as we did.
Our next joint event will be a Shortest Day Brunch and Brinner in the woods. Keep Sunday 21st December free if you fancy joining us.