Today I popped by Mum and Dad's to pick boysenberries. From a small vine planted years ago, they now run rampant through about a quarter of the garden. You would think that this would mean that we get overloaded with berries each year, but in recent years the drought has taken its toll, both on the number of berries and also in lack of food for the birds. We would race the wildlife for the few berries remaining and usually lose.
But this year's rain has delivered berries galore and is obviously feeding the birds with other things because there is a huge crop.
We have had bumper crops in the past. Previously we tried to preserve them in a variety of ways, most notably the year Mum and I made jam. It was notable because our first attempt was a dismal, runny failure. So we added more berries and boiled it further - still runny. Third time lucky we boiled up our batch again, this time adding a setting agent. It certainly did the trick and set our jam to a consistency somewhat like concrete!
Not keen to repeat the jam disaster, we had to find another way to preserve the berries and Dad came up with a doozy - a boozy doozy to be precise. In our house, boysenberries now become vodka. Oh yes, boysenberry vodka, it is as good as it sounds. And with this year's bumper harvest, the fridge should be stocked with berry-tastic vodka for some time to come!