This may come as a bit of a shocker for those of you who know me, but I sometimes display a hint of a tendency to get carried away. It starts with good intentions: “Oh, the brambles are ripening, I should pick some and bake that cake that I liked!” (Brambles, by the way, being the Scottish name for blackberries.)
And then it grows: “…and I should make jam and I should make a pie and I should freeze some for smoothies and I should make liqueurs for all my Christmas presents and also I should write down all those recipes and take pictures and blog them and…”
Until the few berries I did pick on my way home (before the high school let out and I was surrounded by high schoolers– why am I still so intimidated by high schoolers?) have grown a fuzzy little coat of mould because I was so paralyzed by the vast scope of all my million ideas that I didn’t act on any of them.
This year, with moving into our flat and preparing to transition jobs and dealing with feeling unwell so much of the time, I’ve found myself overwhelmed both by my overambitious good intentions and by the reality of all the little things that do need to get done in a day. My mindfulness project lately has been to catch myself in that first moment of good intention and then to get up and do one thing.
Like pulling that half-bottle of gin that we never drink out of the freezer, popping a few handfuls of berries and a bit of sugar in through its tiny neck, giving it a good shake, and then hiding it in a dark cupboard to work its magic until just before Christmastime.
I even made an event in my calendar. December 8: Bramble Gin Liqueur is ready!
Bramble Gin Liqueur
Makes about 400ml of liqueur
8-9 oz (250g) brambles (blackberries)
2/3 cup (125g) sugar
1 1/2 cups (350ml) gin
Note: A wide-mouth jar would work best for this, but don’t let that be what stops you! You’ll just have to pop the berries into the neck of a narrower bottle one at a time, but it is actually an oddly satisfying task.
Wash berries gently but thoroughly. Add sugar into gin, then add berries and shake together. Leave out on a counter where you’ll see it for about three days, giving it a good shake daily until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.
Once sugar has dissolved, place your liqueur in a dark cabinet somewhere and forget about it for about 3 months. After three months, strain out the berries and enjoy! More sugar can be added at this point if needed.