F Picking Wild Berries ~ Critique of the Unique

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Picking Wild Berries

The children and I went on a little adventure! We wanted to make a cobbler, so we went on the search for some wild blackberries or raspberries, and boy, did we find some!! They were at the back end of our property in an area that was grown up and a bit snaky looking.  I was afraid to get too close to the weeded area as I had seen a snake in the yard earlier in the month and I still could not get the mental image of it out of my head. On that day, I had been picking up pool toys that the children had left around the yard (barefoot of course) and I walked out to the middle of an open field to retrieve a toy and then walked back to the garage.  My husband called me back over a few seconds later and had me do a scan of the yard.  "What do you see?", he asked me, pointing to the area that I had just been.  I didn't see anything, so he pointed again, and this time I followed his finger more carefully and that's when I seen it.  The snake was coiled up and his tail was shaking back and forth (we concluded that it was probably just a rat snake and not of a poisonous variety).  I immediately let out a scream. I had been inches from it just a few seconds earlier (I couldn't help but scream, even though I was in no danger at that point)!

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:

Blackberry Cobbler

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
Pastry (below)

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!!

A little trick: I keep my flour in the freezer as I don't like to leave it in a canister on the counter. I don't have any other reason for doing this except for my mother always kept hers in the freezer, so I do as well.  It was always a big pain as the bag would leak flour out more and more as I used it and make a big mess in the freezer. I purchased these things called "Pasta Express", (the little tubes that you put spaghetti in, add hot water, and VIOLA-you have cooked spaghetti in a matter of minutes) and although I did not like them for cooking noodles, I did repurpose them. They come in different sizes, and have little slotted lids that fit tight on the tube, and then a screw on lid that goes over that. I use the smallest of these tubes to put my flour in. It keeps it air tight and the little lid comes off, revealing the slotted lid, that allows for me to shake the flour out. Works great!!!

Blackberry filling

 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!



Following you back! How wonderful to have berries right there. The cobbler looks yummy too!

Thanks for the follow. I'm following you back

Thanks for stopping by and following! I am now following you! Looks delish!

Thanks for the follow, Follwing you back!

Have a great weekend!!!

Luster Canyon Blog

I'm your newest follower. Please follow me back at www.jessielynnsmith.com


<3 Jess

Hi! That cobbler sounds SO good! I've never picked fresh berries before but would love to eventually - how great that you've got some right on your property.

Thanks for being a part of Friendly Friday, by the way! :) I'm now following you back through GFC. Have a wonderful weekend!

Your cobbler looks amazing!! Thanks for stopping by and following my blog...I'm following you back!

YUMMY!! That looks like SO MUCH FUN!! I don't know of any local wild patches of berries, but I really want to take my kids picking.

MINUS the ticks and snakes!!!!!!

Thanks for your follow! Following back!

I love blackberries! I am from Washington where there are Blackberries EVERYWHERE! Now that I live in the Midwest, I can't believe they are sold for like $5 a pound in the grocery store! I am following you back! Thanks for stopping by The Foodie Mommie!

Your cobbler looks great!! Isn't it amazing all the things we do just for a few berries? What did they do in pioneer time when the bush was the only place to get the berries?

Thanks for stopping by Zen Mama today!!

Oh wow! That looks heavenly!

I know it's a little late because I got super busy the last two days but I just wanted to say THANK YOU for participating in this week's WELCOME WEDNESDAY blog hop! We really hope to see you weekly! We are so happy to be following your blog! Thanks for helping spread the word about our great event by grabbing our button!

Kristin & Jaime
Take It From Me

Looks delicious but sounds like quite the adventure!! I was picking blackberries a couple years ago and my daughter was all freaked out about the ants (and dumped my bucket of precious berries) after a short while a snake crawled over my foot..I did not dare scream because I knew she would freak out big time. It was all I could do to hold it in!! Sorry about the tick bites but it is a blessing that your kids were spared. Just think from now on everytime you make this the kids will remember this day!! Great memory!!

We have wild strawberries where we live. They are so sweet! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. It was so nice to "meet" you! I hope you are having an amazing Friday.

this looks amazing!!!
Would you like your recipe to be featured on my blog next monday? I've started a monday mommy yummy thing but would like to feature other people's recipes as well and link for more followers and such.
Let me know and you can have this monday's spot with this yummy cobbler.

I’m already following you, but wanted to stop and say hi on this Friday!



following u back! Feel free to visit me here:
Life Can't Wait and Up Now and What's Next

That cobbler looks DIVINE! Now following you.

Following you back :)

The cobbler looks delish; my daughter loves blackberries. However, we will get ours from the market, since we don't have any fresh ones (boooooo!) but no snakes either (hooray!)

Thanks for the follow and linking up!! I am totally following you back noW!!!! Stash Mama

Hello! I'm here from One Savvy Mom!'s Savvy Social Sunday.

Have a great day!

Homemaker Honey

MMMMM Blackberry cobbler makes me happy!!!

That sounds fabulous - nothing like fresh berries!

Thanks for following me, I'm following you too.

Yummy...I’m your newest follower for Friday Follow! Have a wonderful weekend. I have also linked up my second blog at Vivianne’s Villa: http://viviannesvision.blogspot.com/

You pie looks better then the one I TRIED to make! Ah it doesn't matter what it looks like as long as it's yummy!
I am now following your blog and look forward to reading more of your stuff.
All the best,

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