The Tangled Nest

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Hand-y Berry Pickin’

September 13th, 2010 · 14 Comments ·

Yesterday as we finished our farmer’s market shopping (peaches!), Tom–who keeps close track of such things–announced, “This moment is the absolute peak of blackberry ripeness.”  Fortunately, we were ready–we never go anywhere during blackberry season without buckets and clippers (to cut away blackberry attack-branches) in the car or the bike basket.

We picked loads at our super-wonderful, super-secret, urban blackberry patch.  All of us were quickly prickled and messy-fingered.  My friend Jennifer, of lovely little Fat Rooster Farm in Vermont’s White River Valley, says, “Anyone who complains about the price of blackberries at the farmer’s market hasn’t picked them!”  I agree.  Even so, I was glad to be out picking with my sweeties instead of paying  $19/half flat–the going rate at yesterday’s market.  Amidst our constant cries of “ouch!” and the spiders in our hair, Claire sneaked up and put this blackberry juice handprint on my pickin’ pants!  An improvement.

There was cobbler with friends at the table that evening, and tonight is a family jam session.  It goes quickly if everyone helps with the mashing and stirring.  Making jam can seem like a Big Huge Deal, but just as we keep the buckets and clippers ready, we also keep the canning stuff out during berry season.  If a big bucket turns up, then we’re ready, and the jamming feels much more routine, like something we “just do.”  (See my earlier post on DIY Rubber Stamp Jam Labels.)

There’s enough left from this picking for a pie. Lots of my friends tell me they’ve never made a pie, and feel intimidated at the thought.  Does anyone want a Tangled Nest Pie Tutorial?  I’d be happy to do one!

Meanwhile: Happy, Sweet, Delicious Fall Foraging.

canning/preserving, foraging

14 Comments so far ↓

  • David Laskin

    I would like to join your household as roommate/weird uncle (as long as I get to sleep in a bed now and then). I will happily help you devour blackberries and peaches (hey, I’ve got a great pie recipe that uses both!). Well, happy foraging and keep those mason jars handy!

  • Christina

    LOVE blackberry season. Couldn’t resist buying a half-flat for $15 at a farmer’s market the other day because the berries were like purple zeppelins–turned them into 4 coffeecakes and a crisp! But picking’s on the horizon, too. Haven’t made jam for years but am now feeling inspired.

    • lyanda

      David–your Weird Uncle Room is ready!

      Christina–your cakes sound lovely, and glad you’re feeling jam-inspiration. Enjoy.

  • Jen Needham

    Drool! I never did get my hands on blackberries this summer, so I’m living vicariously through your post. This brings me back to summers when I was little, picking blackberries with my grandpa. 🙂

  • Ashley

    Hi! I would love to make the rubber stamp jam labels, but when I click the link I get an error message. Do you still have the tutorial available? Thanks!

    • lyanda

      Hi Ashley–sorry about that (and sorry for taking so long to get back to you!). I fixed the link in the post. Thanks for letting me know.

  • Kathryn

    Hey Lyanda–
    I have a great one-crust, make-it-in-the-pie-dish recipe that is perfect for pie-making-phobes.
    I like the hand print, Claire!

    • lyanda

      Thanks, KT! Why don’t you link here to your pie? Sounds great. Meanwhile, alas–I’m afraid the crust is actually my favorite part, so I’m sticking with the double.

  • Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

    Hi, I wanted to thank you for the wonderful words of wisdom that I found i n your book. I picked it up because I like crows, I got a bit more interested in crows when I decided to paint a few of them and discovered that I couldnt get anywhere near them. I read your book and discovered the words about seeing with your pencil which helped me understand what i am doing with my art and what I need to continue doing with my art. I am flabbergasted at all the contacts you have had with crows and I really enjoyed your book. Thanks again

    • lyanda

      Mimi, thanks so much for your sweet comments! I hope others will check out your watercolors–they’re beautiful. My favorite thing about weblogs–hearing from others, and seeing the lovely, creative work so many people are doing. Thanks!

  • Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

    So do you ever do guided crow tours? 🙂

  • Brian K Gunderson

    We’d love for you to do a pie tutorial!

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