Here they go round the mulberry bush….

…. the birds, that is.  I’m sitting looking out of the study window.  There, almost centre front, is the mulberry tree.  I can see why it’s secured itself a place in the history of children’s singing rhymes, even though it’s quite certainly a tree and not a bush.  Its densely leaved branches curve down to the ground, leaving a perfect den for small people to spend an hour or two hiding away, playing games away from interfering adults.

There it is, our magnificent mulberry tree
There it is, our magnificent mulberry tree

And just now, mid-summer, is the time it fruits.  I’ve never lived with a mulberry tree on tap before, so I made the usual deal with the birds: ‘You take the high-up berries, I’ll take the low ones.  There are plenty to go round.’  They weren’t listening. I’m watching them now, those pesky blackbirds, swooping in to select a not-quite-ripe fruit and flying away to enjoy in private.

OK, it's not a blackbird, but a crow.  They're thieves too.
OK, it’s not a blackbird, but a crow. They’re thieves too.

Mulberries are in fact quite a curious fruit, the size and shape of a raspberry or blackberry, but with quite a pithy core. It’s quite a challenge to find these relatively small berries growing on a fully-sized tree, hidden among large almost heart-shaped leaves.  The majority of the berries fall to the ground (where the birds ignore them, it seems), and this is a crop that can only be picked when black, juicy, and very fully ripe.  So fingers and clothes alike get quickly and indelibly stained.  Purple is the best colour to wear.

All my recipe books tell me to use them in any recipe calling for blackberries or raspberries.  I’ve discovered I prefer both those more familiar fruits, but it won’t stop me having a go at using the unexpected haul of free berries.  I made a coulis for ice-cream yesterday.  What next, I wonder?

Hunt the mulberry.  It's quite a job.
Hunt the mulberry. It’s quite a job.

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush, the mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
On a cold and frosty morning.

8 thoughts on “Here they go round the mulberry bush….”

  1. looks wonderful – I am sure it makes a great pie or crunch – place the berries in a rectangular baking dish – toss the berries with a little sugar and corn starch and then top the berries with a mixture of 1 cup brown sugar, flour, oats, and butter (melt the butter and mix well) this is the crunch – bake in an oven at 325-350 until the top is gold brown and the berries mixture is bubbly 35-45 minutes…. sorry for the American measures … serve warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or creme fraiche… the coulis sounds interesting – have a great week

    Like

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