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Monday, August 13, 2012

We know how to eat


It is blackberry season hereabouts, not all at once, but in mysterious patches -- lots ripe in one spot, all green twenty feet away.  Last Son has been here and put in a shift to clear away the dreaded knotweed all along the creek (we will use it for beanpoles and kindling), so the sun (and our fingers) can get to the berries. 

Early in the season we like to pick directly into up-cycled 32 oz. yogurt tubs, but these can be awkward to carry. Risa has made a couple of picker's bags using small linen shopping bags with the handles cut from the bag at two ends, then sewn together with a bit of dental floss to make a shoulder strap. The tub of the day rests snugly therein, along with a pair of gloves and pruning shears. As soon as there is only two inches of headroom, she'll pop the tub into the freezer. This much room is prudent because the water in the berries will expand eleven per cent when frozen. 

There are already eight tubs full. It might be necessary to start canning or even wine making. Risa might have to head for Florida at any time, given her dad's health (she's an only), so she may not do any wine making this year. A call in the middle of complex activity could leave Beloved with quite a mess on her hands.

Apples are falling from the Transparent tree at a pretty good rate, but a taste test says these are not yet ready to crush, ditto all the other trees, the crops of which tend to mature in September or even October, along with the grapes. One strategy is to juice blackberries and can them, so as to add them to any mixed-fruit canning or wine-making later. One can only use up so many jars of blackberry jam, and we have lots from last year or even the year before.

Our favorite use for the berries, though, is as is, frozen. The 32 ounce batches are moved from the freezer to refrigeration one every two weeks or so, and parceled out for use with yogurt or in oatmeal or the like. Risa also uses them in breads, pancakes, and waffles. Bring on the winter! We know how to eat.

Ringing the gratitude bell.

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