Now it’s the season to go picking berries! We have a variety of wild berries here on the north coast, mainly three types of blueberries, my favorite type are called bilberries and we try to pick as much as possible before the nighttime frost ruin them. Harvesting berries in late july & august is a very common tradition in Iceland and in fact one of the few sources of vitamin c (along with root-vegetable) that my ancestors in Iceland used to survive, there are no fruit trees here because the summer is too short and cold for them to flourish.
My family has an old house on the north coast and its an ideal place to pick berries. I remember spending a lot of time there with my mother and grandmother when I was younger, bringing a pick nick basket and pick berries till our fingers were colored purple and our smile had turned the same.
I packed our newborn Rakel in her stroller and she slept for the 4 hours we were there, in the fresh air and the sound of a creek close by. So we filled the buckets we brought with us, picking approx 6kg by hand, they’ve now been cleaned and put into the freezer to use in smoothies and baking, not forgetting the ice cream sauce where you heat approx 2dl of berries in a saucer and add caster sugar to taste, brilliant with vanilla ice cream.
I also made a few jars of bilberry jam, the recipe I used is very simple:
– for each kg of berries I add 300g of sugar, you can use more sugar if you want or add dates, cinnamon or vanilla stick or whatever to taste but this time it was only berries with a bit of sugar. let simmer for approx 20 min and put into clean jars (they need to be really REALLY clean, I clean them with diluted vinegar and boiling hot water). Close the jars while the jam is hot.