Saturday, August 17, 2013

Here we go a-Berrying

Blackberries are in season in our fair part of the world.  Although we don't have any berries in our immediate area, we do have plentiful berries growing wild just an hour south of our location.

Both Sir Knight and I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where blackberries grow in abundant profusion.  In fact, the blackberry brambles are so aggressive that they are treated as nuisance weeds and routinely hacked to the ground.  Not here.  We treat our blackberries with great respect, eagerly anticipating plump, juicy berries every summer.

Having our "spies" to the south of us keep an eye on the ripening berries, and report every week as to their progress, we knew just the right time to hit the berry patch.  Yesterday was the day!

Thursday, Miss Serenity and I spent the day in the kitchen, preparing all sorts of wonderful picnic food to take along on our berry picking expedition.  Knowing that we would be leaving long before the sun peaked over the horizon, we planned for a breakfast on the road, as well as a picnic lunch.  For breakfast, we made Scotch Eggs.  They are wonderful cold and pack a lot of protein in a small package.  They are perfect for a bunch of hard-working berry pickers in the wee morning hours.  After the Scotch Eggs were wrapped and cooling the refrigerator, we went to work on the rest of our picnic fare.  We mixed up a large batch of chicken salad (for sandwiches), made a large pan of brownies and last, but best of all, we made a batch of scones.  Our plan was perfect.  After picking berries all morning, we would find a nice spot for a picnic, and while we were eating our hearty lunch, we would heat our scones under the windshield of our car. Dessert was our crowning moment.  Fresh, warm scones with FRESHLY picked blackberries topped with whipped cream (packed in the cooler)!  Life just can't get any better!
Miss Serenity & Master Calvin making breadcrumbs

Making Scotch Eggs

Packaged and ready for the refrigerator

A panful of brownies
Our plan for picking berries was to get there early, pick quickly and get out of the patch by the time the wasps overtook the berries.  The wasps came out in force by about 9 o'clock in the morning, however we were able to keep picking for quite some time on the shady side of the patch.  We did have one encounter with a rattle snake, however, when confronted, it went one way and we went the other.  Finally, the wasps overtook us and berry picking became a dangerous prospect.

Miss Serenity's friend Princess Leah

Beautiful berries!

Playing on the railroad tracks

Done for the morning
We plan on picking one more time before the season is finished, but we made quite a haul the first time around.  We ended up with 6 gallons of big, beautiful blackberries.  They have been cleaned and packaged and are in our freezer (located at an accommodating neighbor) awaiting blackberry pies, cobblers or any other delight I can think of.

Pies waiting for crusts!
Oh, long days of summer!  They are best used to prepare for the cold, uncompromising winter months.  How much better can it get than to spend time with your family and prepare for the future all at one time?!


  1. I envy your life! Thanks for such a wonderful blog.

  2. Enola,

    Oh how fun! I love productive picnic's, and time out picking berries with the kids. Do you have bears up your way? When I was a kid, the bears liked the berries as much as we did. We would have to be careful not to run in a bear wrapped around the berry bushes.

  3. When a blackberry is red, it is green.

  4. Enola,


    I don't even know what a blackberry looks like? I would not know what to do with a blackberry, nor have I ever gone looking for blackberries (I don't think they exist in Texas)

    Now, I have eaten cactus pads as well as the fruit from the cactus. We do have Pecans in Texas and we make awesome pecan pie, actually I buy mine from Walmart, pretty sad huh' but it taste the same to me.

    I think the closet thing to blackberries Im ever gonna get is Peanut M&M's (I just ate a bag)

    I needed the energy burst after spending three hours yesterday evening and four hours today surfing. I paddled out at dawn this morning when the surf was best (we call it Dawn Patrol)

    I feel like a waterlogged, salted and sunburned rat (it feels wonderful)

  5. I miss berries! I would trade you for some lilikoi (passionfruit) any day. Your picnic sounded amazing. Enjoy your summer days and thanks for blogging about them. Best, M.

  6. This brings back so many good memories when my family would go on our yearly salmon fishing trip to Klamath. I had to laugh at Sandy comment because we would always leave the area if the 'people' on the other side of the bush didn't say hello back. Yes, the black bears LOVE the berries too. My freezer and pantry are still filled yearly with blackberry goodness. Thanks for the memories!