Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Munchies: Blackberries Galore!

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?


jbchicoine said...

I feel better now; I’m glad you went berry picking.
And, yes, please, on those scones!

Steph Damore said...

Mmmm - Blackberry scones. Those sound delectable!

I too have been cooking out of my garden, and you're right, the produce is fair superior then any grocery store. There's just something satisfying about providing for your family too, ya know? I can't explain it, but it's a homey feeling that just makes me feel content.

Weronika said...

Yum, yum, yum. YUM.

Oh, do I crave these "simple pleasures". Sheesh, Laura.

P.S. There's another award for you at the end of this post.

Stephanie Faris said...

Those have to be delicious. There's another blogger who has been out picking blueberries. It must be blueberry season everywhere!

Laura Martone said...

Woah, I went to dinner at a friend's house, and I missed all my commenters. Poop. Sorry, ladies!

Bridget - Thanks for your concern about my workaholic tendencies. I am a little nutty, but every now and then I DO manage to escape my blogging, writing, editing duties and frolic in the great outdoors! (Oh, and with your and Steph D.'s encouragement, I think I WILL bake a few scones.)

Steph D. - I love the word delectable, and I agree that there's nothing like growing your own food and feeding your family with it. Homey it is!

Weronika - I'm only here to make you happy! Nothing in the world like the little pleasures... they can make you smile in the face of day-to-day living. Oh, and thanks for the award! Because Bridget gave it to me, too, does that mean I have to award it to 10 other commenters - or the same 5? Hmmm, I wonder.

Steph F. - They are (I mean, were) deliciously sweet. Ooh, I wonder who was picking blueberries! And where? My blueberry season is, alas, over. Stupid cold Michigan summer!

Strange Fiction said...

Oh yummy! I miss having blackberries to pick.

Laura Martone said...

Wait, D.L., where do you live? In the Canadian countryside, right? Shoot, I thought blackberries were everywhere! Should I send you a few?

Strange Fiction said...

I'm in B.C.--but too far north for blackberries. We were able to gather and preserve so much more when we lived on the island...

Tell you what, if you can find a way to transport the berries, I'll send you down some rhubarb lol

Laura Martone said...

Sounds good, D.L. Blackberries for rhubarb - methinks it's a fair trade. :-)