Food

Blackberries beckon, the non-electronic variety

I always look forward to June as our wild blackberries are in season. I can generally find them growing wherever there's overgrown brush. They abound on interstates but I wouldn't eat them due to increased automobile emissions.

When I was a kid I'd take one of mom's boiler pans and head for the woods when they were ripe. I knew if I brought that pan home with blackberries it meant a pie for certain. My mom was a home eco. major at UGa. and one heck of a cook. Her dessert specialty was deep dish cobblers. She layered her blackberry cobbler with dumplings to die for topped off with one amazing Crisco crust. My brother is almost able to duplicate her recipe.

Before picking blackberries spray yourself with insect repellent. Brother Ed contracted Lyme disease a few years ago from a tick bite while picking them. With antibiotics he completely recovered in two weeks. Chiggers also love to hang out in blackberry patches. Wear gloves on the non picking hand, long sleeves and pants as I still have brier scars from my early picking days.

It's good to pick some of the unripe red berries along with the ripe black ones as it adds a nice tartness to the pie.

IMO the commercial blackberries aren't nearly as tasty as the smaller wild variety with their wonderful seedy texture. Blackberry preserves are a bit of heaven in a Mason fruit jar.

It's almost entertaining to have a seed lodged between a tooth as it gives you great memories of those wonderful berries you just polished off.

Share your blackberry thoughts and memories.


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