Oh, summertime. One of the first signs that summer has arrived, other than every item of clothing on your person being soaked with sweat- and I mean all your clothing- is the arrival of dewberries. These are a variety of blackberries- not as big and not quite as sweet as the cultivated varieties but they are available for the picking. Seriously, free and organic fruit- what could be better.
Around the corner from us on an abandoned fence, there is a whole mess of berries. Lots and Lots. Jonathan and Sierra and whoever else will walk down the road with them have picked berries everyday for a week now. The vines are so loaded that I think we will have another week of harvest. There are so many things to do with berries- cobbler, ice cream, flavored cream for the top of a pound cake, pound cake, crumb cake, and the list goes on.
As Jonathan and I picked berries together in the warm sunshine, he prattled on about the possibility of what we might do with the berries. Once back at the house, of course, the first thing to do is to get a bowl full and sprinkle them with sugar and eat them with your fingers- that way you can lick your fingers clean. But in the meantime, you eat the most plump and ripe berries right on the spot. No, you don’t need to wash them they are fine. You might eat a bug, but it won’t kill you. Eating them off the vine is a big part of the fun. The best part of the berry pickin’ is the memories you make. The conversation is seemingly meaningless as we chatter, but in that chatter you build connections with your kids. These are the tidbits that come together as the whole picture that tells the kids who they are and where they come from. Not to mention the warmth in your heart you feel when your twelve year old son reaches over and takes your hand as you walk down the road. I love that kid and I love to pick berries with him. The best things in life are free.
My favorite use of berries is a cobbler and here is the most simplest of deserts best eaten warm with vanilla ice cream!
Dewberry Cobbler (or whatever berry you have on hand)
One recipe of pie crust
2-3 cups of berries
1 cups sugar
Take one half of the pie dough recipe and roll it out.
Put half of the rolled out dough in the bottom of a 9X9 pan- I like cast iron pans. Place berries in the pan and pour sugar on the berries. Cover with the other half of the rolled dough. The dough does not have to cover the berries or the bottom completely. Place in an oven heated to 350′ oven and bake for 30-45 minutes- just until the dough is brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool a bit. Put a generous helping in a bowl and top with ice cream. Let the good times roll!