Saturday, August 22, 2009

Berry Picking Time

I love berry picking time! Though I was less than thrilled about the scarlet veil being warn by my maple tree, it does signal that the time has arrived for picking blackberries. We heeded the call yesterday and loaded up the wicker baskets, gloves, long-sleeved shirts, hats, boots, and picnic lunch. We pick berries on the property adjacent to my FIL, where the friendly landlord neighbors have five acres abutting the river.In order to properly absorb the beauty and serenity of a blackberry picking day, we began at the river with our picnic lunch of (fried) egg sandwiches (compliments of our egg layin' girls), pasta salad, and Chardonnay. We sat on the small platform deck overlooking the river and enjoyed the simplicity of being. The water trickled by and chided the rocks for impeding progress while the riparian insects buzzed busily all around.When we felt it was time, we gathered up our tools and set to work. I wear vinyl gloves because they protect against the staining of my hands and nails, and I carry pair of cotton gloves to wear over them to protect against the thorns.We also wear long sleeves, long pants, boots, and hats. They protect against thorns, sunburn, and snakes. Even so, I have several puncture wounds to show for my efforts, and berry picking is not for the faint of heart.There is a delicate balance in fighting your way into the bushes just far enough to reach the ripe berries, but not so far that you are stuck fast in the thorns. I had to have Mr. Nature extricate me more than once when I got the idea I was a raccoon and shoved my way in too far. I just wanted that next succulent bunch that was just out of reach! I also had my hat removed a few times by a thorny tentacle, and had to back out and barter with the thorns to get my hat loose.
It is a very accomplished feeling to forage and scour the outdoors for ripe edible offerings, and we ended up with 7.5 pounds of berries for our efforts. We also picked a few sprigs of fresh mint for tea. We spent one hour lounging over lunch by the river, then two hours foraging for berries. Afterward, we were hot and tired, so we spent about an hour napping before we got started cleaning and putting away the berries.
Today, we made cobbler.



Anonymous said...

I love berry pciking, something I have'nt done for years.


Deb G said...

I picked blackberries yesterday too! I wasn't quite as prepared though...short sleeves, no gloves. A whole lot of "ouch." And why, why are the best looking ones 7 feet above what can be reached?

Lori at Jarvis House said...

Do you have the recipe for the cobbler? I love berries and picking too.

Sinclair said...

@Lori: we did not use a recipe, but I will write up what we did and share it with you. Mr. Nature did most of the actual mixing of ingredients, and he does it by feel. I am the dough person, and most of my job was working the dough strips and creating the lattice work.