One berry, Two Berry…

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Before becoming one, I had always romanticized the notion of being a stay-at-home mom. I’d dress in cute but comfy outfits. The baby and I would take daily trips to the farmer’s market and shop for organic produce. Then we’d come home and spend time reading books before leaving to have lunch with a friend. The afternoon would be full of playdates and window shopping in nearby villages. Ahhh, lovely!

The reality? Do I even need to say it? I’m lucky if I shower more than three times a week. My shirts are covered in sweet potato puree. My hair is always in a pony tail, and even a trip to the grocery store can take a two hours. Lunch dates? Most of my friends work or live too far away. So when I saw that our local organic farm had pick your own blackberries, I was sold! Let’s go!

It was a beautiful day. I plopped Noodle into the Baby Bjorn and off we went into the brambles to pick blackberries.

The berries were perfect: deep purple gems tucked in between brilliant red berries-to-be!

It was a little tough to find the ripe ones with a baby strapped to me, but we made it work. I resisted the urge to go overboard, and in about 10 minutes we had a nice basket with about a pint of blackberries. Perfect!
**Note to self: don’t hand the baby any more blackberries. “Blackberry hand” and “blackberry stain” are very hard to clean:

I paid for the berries (very reasonable, considering they are organic) and we went home. I washed those sun-ripened berries and prepared myself for the juicy goodness! I popped one in my mouth and… OH! Sour! Maybe it was just that one. I tried again. Nope, I guess I’d forgotten that blackberries are sort of sour. Not overly so, but enough that I didn’t love eating them fresh. What to do with my bounty of blackberries???

That’s when I found this recipe. After the baby was tucked in for the night, I got to baking. How very Martha of me! Especially when I saw the ingredients included a cup of butter and a cup of sugar. I don’t think I’ve made anything with more than a tablespoon of butter or sugar since Christmas! Deciding I had to go through with it, I made the recipe and ended up with this:

Yes, it’s half gone (my husband did help, thank you very much). After eating one piece, I decided this is the type of thing you make once a year to celebrate summer’s bounty. Except for the blackberries, the ingredients were simple and I only used what I already had (and the butter was cheap, thanks to a coupon). That makes this super-rich dessert a pretty good deal.

Okay, so maybe this is the type of thing you make twice a year. I’m going back later this week to pick more blackberries to freeze. I’m thinking this would make a great Valentine’s Day treat!

A few notes:

  • My husband thought that rum might taste good in this recipe. There’s a part where you make a syrup from sugar and water. He wondered if rum and sugar would work. I wondered if I had been unusually hard on him this week if he was wondering how to put rum in my cobbler! (although, doesn’t that sound sorta good?)
  • If you do make this recipe, don’t sweat the part where you slice it and place it in the dish. My jelly roll fell apart during this step, so I did the best I could with the blackberry goo. It still turned out fantastic!
  • I’m putting “dough mixer” on my Christmas list. Cutting the butter into the flour takes too long. I would have loved to have one of those handheld dough mixers to help with that part!
  • Since I typically only make things in a healthy fashion, I was of course thinking of ways to make it lighter. While it wouldn’t taste as good, I think using the lower-fat Bisquick would make a passable dough. You could use Splenda in place of sugar (or part Splenda, part sugar) and a baking margarine instead of butter. Maybe increasing the amount of cinnamon and adding vanilla would add even more flavor. And possibly a little rum. HA!
  • If you live in the Philadelphia suburbs, we picked our own (PYO) organic blackberries at Willow Creek Orchards. They also have other PYO veggies and flowers too! It’s a nice place to go, even if it’s a tad expensive. If you stick to just a few organic items (and get the ones that are best to get organically, like fruit with lots of skin that you wouldn’t want traditional pesticides to touch) then we can work it into our grocery budget. A bonus is they have free events like story time and professional story tellers. Can’t beat that price!

Ten Points to anyone who knows which book I based the title of this post from. 😉

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  1. Hahaha about your stay-at-home fantasy being ruined, lol. Oh well, at least you have some fab berries to console you!

  2. I know… fab berries, and berry stains! But I wouldn’t want it any other way. 😉

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