Today has become one of those days when there are more items on the to-do list than there are available waking moments. And yet, to preserve my sanity, I managed to allot a few minutes to one of my favorite activities: hunting for blackberries.
Only, it wasn’t much of a hunt. By August, roadsides throughout northern Michigan are bursting with ready-to-pluck blackberry bushes, and our driveway has been no exception. Indeed, despite the fact that I picked enough blackberries yesterday to fill a small plastic container, many of the berries that were red last night turned black by midday. Yahoo!
I'm utterly convinced that food tastes better when you have a hand in catching, picking, or preparing it yourself. The speckled trout that I snag on my father’s boat is far superior to any fish I could order in a restaurant – even in New Orleans. The tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant that Dan and I grow in our garden are more flavorful than the produce we often find in a grocery store. The treats that I bake in my own kitchen (like my blueberry scones from a month ago) are far yummier than any I could find in a coffee shop. And the wild blackberries that I pick every summer are far sweeter than those I might spy in an overly priced produce bin.
Although I’ve been known to hunt for all manner of wild drupes during the summer – from raspberries to huckleberries – my fondest memories are of my blackberry adventures. As a child, I picked them with my mother in southern Louisiana. As an adult, I gathered them along the American River on a gold-panning trip with Dan and even discovered them outside the flat we inhabited in rural England. And, just today, I added a few more to the memory bank. The only question now is what to do with them. No matter how sweet they are, I can only eat so many before I tire of getting the teeny seeds stuck in my teeth. Maybe I should bake the next batch - which I plan to gather tomorrow morning. Hmm, what to make? Oh, I know! Blackberry scones, anyone?
10 hours ago