Blackberry time

Rather than being about the increasingly common communication devise, this post is really about blackberries – the kind that grow on thorny vines. Each year I look forward to having at least one meal of blackberry-Bourbon pancakes, and the hound dogs and I go a’picking.

Many people don’t appreciate that a dog’s diet normally includes some greens and fruits along the meat and bones that they love so much. My dogs go berry picking with me. There are sometimes snakes among the vines too.  Snakes don’t eat the berries, but they do eat the small rodents that come to feed on the dropped and low-lying fruit.

Once the dogs see me pick, they do too, pulling the berries off the vines with their teeth. One of my dogs found that it was much easier to just graze out of my bucket, instead of risking being pricked by the thorns. I was more amused than mad. He got mildly scolded, and we all resumed our gathering and eating.

If you want to put blackberries in your own pancakes, add about half-a-cup to your mix and mash them fairly well. About a teaspoon of Bourbon is appropriate – just enough to flavor. These pancakes will still be a little soft even when they are done, and might tend to stick a little more, so use a little butter in the bottom of the pan.

Blackberries freeze very well. There is no need to do anything except wash them, put them into plastic bags and freeze them. They also make a fine cobbler, or if you really have lots, even a wine as well as the blackberry pies that will tempt almost anyone.

In the deep South we have been largely deprived of blackberries for the past several years because of a prolonged drought, but this year’s rains have been  more abundant, and these will bring us plenty of blackberries throughout the Southeast. Happy munching.

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