Saturday, May 23, 2009

Blackberry memories

I think this is so much prettier when enlarged. I took it today--won't be too long till there's berries! A big old blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream sounds wonderful to me!

Our mom always made them in a 9 x 13 cake pan. Its another thing she made without measuring--and they were always good. Ask Neal and Patty. Mom always tried to make one for them when they went home to visit because they liked them so well.

We did not have tame blackberries....I don't know of anyone around there that did. But there were two or three cow pastures where they grew--uncared for in anyway. Other than the cattle that sometimes made paths through them.

Usually mom and I would each take a milk our case a 2 1/2 gallon pail. And I always took a little coffee can--at least I think that is what they were they were about 6 inches tall and 4 or 5 inches in diameter. First, some of us would take a nail and make holes on opposing sides, and then we would use wire and make a handle. And off we would go.

Either of our two favorite places to pick berries were less than a mile away--one was within sight of home for the most part....the other was a little bit farther. We would get there, and I would set my milk bucket down and take time to run my belt through the handle of the homemade coffee can bucket. That way, when I came to a good place to pick, I could set my big bucket down and have both hands free to pick into the coffee can. When I got it full, I would just empty it into the big pail.

I don't remember how long it would take us to fill our buckets...I do know that we would go pick after lunch usually, and mom would still have time to make a batch of jelly or can the berries after we got home, and before supper.

You would think the weight of all those berries would have squished them till they were mushy, but it really didn't harm them. Maybe cause we were walking and not the constant vibration had we been transporting them in a vehicle.

Anyway, to this day, blackberry picking is at the top of my list of favorite things to do. And I don't even like to eat them as I pick. I have just always enjoyed picking them. My arms were always full of briar scratches and I would always be full of chiggers. I don't remember my mom ever getting very many of them, but they loved me.

If you don't know what chiggers are, or have never had them....count your blessings. You can read about them here. They are the one thing I would really dread dealing with now. But if I were given the opportunity to go berry picking like that once again, I would jump at the chance!