Family days out, UK

Baking with foraged blackberries

Every Autumn the hedgerows around where we live are full of juicy blackberries. I used to pick them with my mum when I was a kid and she’d put them in crumbles – yum!

Since Tin Box Tot was born I’ve been a bit of a foraging failure. I’ve noticed the blackberries coming into season when we’re out on walks with Tin Box Dog but have always forgotten to bring a box carry them. Or I’m so flustered trying to coordinate a pushchair, toddler and excitable Labrador Retriever that I trundle on by.

Tin Box Dog running down a country path

Last weekend, during a spur of the moment walk everything came together. The Tot was enjoying puddle jumping in her new wellington boots, the dog was coming back when called and the baby was preoccupied looking at the leaves on the trees.

A view across a harvested field

And there they were: blackberries.


As usual I didn’t have a box with me but I did have a spare nappy/doggy bag. We began to forage.

Tin Box Tot picking blackberries from a bush

The Tot was really into it; looking for berries, asking to be picked up to reach the fat ones high in the bushes and getting absolutely covered in juice. We came away with a small harvest of about 100g.

When we got home we washed the berries (and removed plenty of red ones that the Tot had also enthusiastically pulled off the bushes). They then went in the fridge until the next day the Tot was home from nursery.

Before I go any further, apologies for the state of my kitchen. Housework is not one of my virtues!

It was raining outside so perfect conditions for an afternoon of baking. I’d decided I couldn’t top either my mum or Mr Tin Box’s crumbles, so we found a recipe for blackberry muffins.

The Tot loves baking. We started doing little baking projects together before she turned two. At that time things would get very messy if I left her with a spoon and bowl of ingredients so I did the majority of the mixing. I’m a bit OCD about food being wasted.

Now I can talk the Tot through the ingredients we need and pass them to her to put in the bowl. She even did quite a good job of cracking the eggs. We took it in turns to blend the ingredients together and spoon them into our silicon muffin cases. I love these cases as they are much more robust than paper ones when you are baking with a toddler whose aim is a bit off.

Tin Box Tot putting silicon muffin cases in a backing tin

Muffin batter in silicon muffin cases

We popped the batter into the oven for 25 minutes and the took the dog on another walk while our muffins cooled. They were a lovely treat when we returned.

Tin Box Tot eating a muffin

Lots of blogging families have been out blackberry picking in the past few weeks, which reminded me about how rubbish I had been not doing any. I found their foraging adventures on the County Kids and Whatever the Weather blog link ups. Check these out for more outdoor fun inspiration.

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