Sunday, July 27, 2008

Warm Blackberry Cobbler and Cold Ice Cream, by Kat Magendie

This has been the best blackberry year since I moved to my mountain. The vines are heavy with blackberries, those blue-black heads dripping lush and full and ripe. All I have to do is walk along our road and pick like mad. I have to watch for the bad among the sweet: mean stickers that tear at skin and clothes; bees (although I’ve never been stung picking blackberries); and the one I watch out for most of all, snakes, particularly copperheads. Snakes can hide within the thick brambles and when you step closer, or reach in your hand STRIKE! snake bite! I’m careful, and knock on the clich├ęd wood, I’ve never been bitten.

After I have enough, I head back home, old Kayla plodding alongside me. The blackberry juice drips from the holes in the plastic container that previously held local tomatoes, and I wish I’d used one without holes so as not to waste a drop. Back at the log house, I carefully wash them. There is no worry of pesticides here, for we do not use them; we do not use any kind of fertilizer or pesticide or anything artificial, for we let the mountain take care of its own. I wash away dust or any bugs. Once washed, and a few eaten of course, I place them in the refrigerator for later. I’m going to make a blackberry cobbler, and on top of the cobbler, while it’s still good and warm, I’m going to place a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Then, I’m going to sit down and eat every bite. The cold cold ice cream over the warm warm blackberry cobbler, with its juices thick and syrupy and the berries plumped and soft and the cobbler crust crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

There is something that surely feels like a special gratitude for the things our Earth provides us. And, when picked and washed and cooked with our own hands, the gratitude and love for the natural things of the earth is more acute. There are many cobbler recipes out there, but here is a basic one my mom made for years with much success that is foolproof, easy, and doesn’t require many ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350. Melt one stick of butter in a Pyrex dish. Mix together: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 cup milk. Pour mixture over the melted butter. Top with fruit (if you like the fruit sweeter, sprinkle sugar over it. Also, for this recipe, use about 1 ½ to 2 quarts fruit). Bake until crust rises to top, and gets golden brown and bubbly, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Enjoy!


Barbara Quinn said...

I can't wait to try this! Lots of blackberries are growing wild in my backyard. Now I have to go fight the squirrels and birds for them.

Angie Ledbetter said...

ooo, can you send me some? (I'll buy my own ice cream.) Yum and thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing better than the dish you so "tastefully" posted about.
Brings back some memories that we hope to taste again.

Kathryn Magendie said...


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