Tag Archives: food

Blueberry Pickin’

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Blueberry Pickin’

I got the phone call I wait for every year the other day from my parents!

“The blueberries are ready to pick, honey. Come get all you want.”

Not everyone can say they have their own private blueberry patch. What started out as 4 bushes growing up has morphed into over a dozen through the years, all in various varieties and stages of production.

If you live in the South, you learn pretty quickly to take care of outside activities early–before the heat of the day. So, that’s what we did. We loaded up early to pick. The branches were so full, all I had to do was rake my hand down the clusters of dew-covered berries and they plunked in the bottom of the bucket. In no time, I had a huge “mess” of them to bring home. Of course it took a bit longer than it should have because we had to make several potty breaks, pit stops by the playhouse, and take ‘treacherous’ excursions on the Jeep through the yard–complete with an imaginary bad-guy chase– in order to keep everyone happy.

I seemed to be the only one focused on the REAL reason we were there.

That didn’t stop them from mooching a handful or two…or three…

Apparently, little fuzzy caterpillars have an affinity for blueberry bushes. Did you know that they make little Princesses squeal really loud when they come out of nowhere? I have to admit, they made me curl my toes a few times too.

There are countless recipes for blueberries–pies, buckles, muffins, icecreams, pancakes, even blueberry salsa (not really sold on that idea yet)! While they’re all delicious, none of them can beat a handful of freshly-picked blueberries on top of your morning cereal.

But there is one, my Momma’s Cobbler recipe, that fits this simple summer berry perfectly.

Want to know the secret?

There’s nothing fancy about it.

Anyone who has even a meagerly stocked pantry will have everything to make it. No special trips to the store for gourmet ingredients.

Momma’s Plain and Simple Blueberry Cobbler:

  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1 c flour
  • dash of salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 c shortening
  • 3 c berries
  • lump of butter
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 T flour/cornstarch

On stovetop, cook down the berries butter, sugar and flour/cornstarch until juices thicken slightly.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening. Add milk, stirring until dough forms. On a floured counter top, divide dough in two, and roll out to fit baking pan. (I use an 8×8 baking dish.)

Place the crust in the bottom, add the fruit, then cover with second crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Blackberries, Honeysuckle and Mayberry

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A must-have: RUBBER BOOTS!

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.

Mamaw’s Dewberry Pie

This is a great recipe for when you only have a few berries.  The crumble topping is amazing.

1 1/2 c. berries

2 eggs

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.

Topping:

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.