If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the end of summer, might I suggest Cobbler? Mmmm…..cobbler.
O.k. first you’re going to have to pick a few blackberries. I have some tips on doing that, or just scroll on down for the recipe!
Now, let me acknowledge that I had originally planned this post to run last week, but then there was that crazy rain. And then, today, I see it’s kind of wet out. Could this post be cursed? Maybe! I’m running it anyway. I think you can dodge a few raindrops for cobbler-amIright? Yes, the picking was better a couple weeks ago, we still found plenty on our trip yesterday-even if we did have to look a little higher and lower.
The kind you see most around here are Himalayan blackberries. These are the big, fat berries growing on bushes with thick, thorny stalks. The slightly smaller ones are called Evergreen blackberries. They have the more delicate, lacy looking leaves. You can see pictures of both here.
Neither type is native, but they’ve thrived around here like gangbusters. Left to their own devices, they’ll take over your yard in no time.
There is also a trailing blackberry that grows very close to the ground. It’s actually a native plant, but much less common. The kind you see at the store are probably cultivated, thornless blackberries-but really, you’re not going to pay for blackberries this time of year, are you?
It’s not hard to find a good picking spot. We try to find an area away from the heaviest traffic that hasn’t been chemically sprayed. Do keep in mind that berries will stain and blackberry thorns can be serious business-especially around eyes and your kiddos delicate skin, so do be cautious. We picked ours on the section of the Foothills Trail between Puyallup and Orting. Quite frankly, my husband picked about 95% of them. I kept searching for the perfect spot, and both boys lost interest in about five minutes. Luckily the oldest had brought his skateboard. My friend Tracy always has her youngest bring small toys when she goes berry picking, like cars he can run in the dirt. I think that’s a pretty great idea.
Now, I’m really not trying to add a lot of drama here, but if you’re new to the area, you should know that every once in a while, you will find poison oak mixed in with blackberry-especially near the water or on bluffs. The rule is, “Leaves of three; leave them be.” Just take a look at your blackberry spot before you start picking, and if you see another bush/tree mixed in with the berry vines, make sure you’re not looking at this (scroll down for the one on the left that says, “Summertime Flowering,”) and you’ll be fine. They tend to be shiny, but the unique grouping of 3 is your best bet for steering clear.
Blackberries are delicious right off the vine, or in freezer jam, but our favorite way to enjoy them is in cobbler. It took some doing (mainly because she doesn’t use a recipe), but I got my mom to share her cobbler recipe. She says to tell you she’s not responsible for failures, but really-can you go wrong here? I don’t think so!
My Mom’s Cobbler Recipe
Got a favorite picking spot or recipe to share? Or are blackberries just a thorn in your side? Either way, I love to hear your comments!