With that memory in mind, I made my husband come do a shake of all the bushes in the area before I would walk close enough to the newly found treasure of ripened blackberries! When I was fully satisfied that there were no snakes, I let the children come over to help pick the berries. I had forgotten about their thorny vines and it didn't take long before we were digging out our winter gloves to protect our fingers. The vines were not supported and were falling in on themselves and all the delicious berries were buried in the maze of vines and thorns. I used the gloved hand to hold back the bigger vines so we had access to the berries beneath it. Even with all the precautionary measures, I still pricked my fingers more times than I can recall! But I forged ahead, as I knew the yield would be worth the reward!
We picked half a kettle full and decided to call it quits! It wasn't until we headed toward the house that we realized that our harvest of berries had disrupted no snakes, but had indeed stirred up a mountain of seed ticks which were now covering our ankles and legs. It was a mad dash to the shower for the children as I attempted to brush off all I could on myself. Unfortunately, days later and I am still recovering form the itchy bites they leave, but thank goodness, the children were not affected.
After they were all showered, we rinsed our little berries, being careful not to damage their clusters. The boy was in charge of getting out all the "yucky" berries that had made it into the pile as me and the girl gathered all the other ingredients.
The recipe we used:
2 16-oz. packages frozen blackberries, thawed (we substituted the fresh berries)
2 C. sugar or to taste (we found this to be a little too sweet. Might try 1 1/2 cup)
2 T. flour
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. butter
Combine berries, sugar, flour and lemon juice and stir well. Set aside.
Prepare pastry and divide dough in half. Roll half of dough to 1/8-inch thickness to fit bottom of 9 x 13-inch dish (lightly greased). Spoon berry mixture into pastry-lined dish; dot with butter.
Roll remaining half of dough to fit top of cobbler. Place over berry mixture. Make slits in dough or cut into strips. Dot with butter pats and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350°F. for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
2 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 t. salt
2/3 C. shortening
3 T. ice water
Combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle water over mixture and stir with fork. Shape dough into ball.
The children had so much fun measuring, pouring and stirring!
I'll let you in on a little secret---baking is not my forte---but it doesn't stop me from trying!! I make a huge mess, I don't have the right baking instruments (for example: we had to use a bottle of cooking sherry as a rolling pin as I don't own one) nor do I have any skill (I can say that with certainty). My husband has never let me live down the cornbread I attempted to cook him during our dating years. I called for him to get it out of the oven for me and it looked beautiful, perfectly browned on top. We let it cool while I finished cooking our meal and as we prepared our plates. He went to get the cornbread out of the pan and the knife literally SUNK into the cornbread. As it turned out, I had put the oven on preheat and never changed it to "bake", so it got done on the top, but immediately below the bread's crust, it was pure liquid. 12 years later and I am STILL hearing about my "famous cornbread".
Therefore, I didn't have much faith that this cobbler would turn out. But I figured, even if it didn't look pretty, it might still be edible!!
The finished product: It won't win any awards at the county fair, but we did it all by ourselves!!!
I like my cobbler cold, with a scoop of ice cream on the side and a bit of caramel drizzled over the top!!!
YUMMY! Over the weekend, we will be making Rhubard Pie, so stay tuned!