Today was the day! The day we wait for every Spring. I’d spotted the tell-tale white flowers weeks ago. Once the kitchen was clean from lunch, equipped with rubber boots, a few buckets and a thick layer of bug spray, we set out on our quest for…blackberries. That tiny fruit is the jewel of Springtime. Those who find them usually have trekked through the woods, jumped a few creeks, slapped themselves silly keeping the mosquitoes at bay, and if that isn’t enough, the plant itself tries to kill you with vicious thorns! And why are the biggest berries in the “snakiest” places, anyway?
I remember picking berries as a kid at my grandparent’s farm. I was terrible at it–I ate everything I picked. I desperately wanted to fill my milk jug full, but the tempation for those sweet treats–still warm from the sun–was too great for a kid like me. Daddy would eat them by the bowl-ful, with milk and sugar sprinkled on the top. Mamaw wasted no time mixing up a pie as soon as we came in with our pickings. I also remember LOTSof Cool Whip.
My son has more will power than I do. He filled his bucket half-full in no time. He got “in the zone” and took his job seriously, seeking out only the biggest, purple-est ones in the patch. I can’t count how many times I heard, “Momma! Look at this one!”
Sis, on the other hand, insisted on picking the green ones for our dog. I, deciding that this wasn’t a battle worth fighting, watched her chubby fingers painstakingly choose the sourest, most jaw-locking berries in the briars. Of course, Tobey could care less about them, but no one argues with Princess when she’s got her mind set on something.
I stood and watched them wander through the clearing–hearing excited shouts when they hit the motherload, and smiled when I smelled the sweet scent of honeysuckle on the warm breeze. I closed my eyes and said a quiet prayer of thanks.
This is the life.
I pictured The Andy Griffith Show, with Opie and Andy walking along the road, fishing poles in hand, not a care in the world. I would have loved to have lived back then.
Life was simpler.
Times were different.
I dream of that kind of life for my kids. I don’t want them to know what this crazy world is all about. I know that’s impossible, but I’m not opposed to putting them in tower like Rapunzel.
I can’t solve all the world’s problems daydreaming in the woods, but I’d like to think that the precious hour we spent this afternoon, together, making memories was a good way to start.
This is a great recipe for when you only have a few berries. The crumble topping is amazing.
1 1/2 c. berries
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 1/3 c. flour
Refrigerated pie crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs, sugar, and milk and flour. Pour into prepared pie shell. Sprinkle berries on top.
4 T. cold butter
1/2 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Flour
Cut butter, sugar and flour together until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of pie.
Bake pie at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
*Do not over bake.