One of my brother’s and my fun summer activities when we were growing up was picking black rasberries or blackberries. Actually, what we really liked was eating the pies and sundaes that were the result of our harvest.
During most of our childhood, our family lived in a hill-top neighborhood, in suburban Wheeling, West Virginia. The area was called Bethlehem. Our neighborhood consisted of a single road that winded up a wooded hillside from the main highway and then threaded itself along the ridge of a series of tall hills. We called them “mountains” but I’m not sure that was totally accurate. While some of the surrounding countryside was steep and heavily wooded, there were large areas of grassy fields, probably land cleared for old farms. Many of those fields were full of raspberry and blackberry bushes.
We would set out with our bowls and pitchers in search of the ripe berries. The black rasberries ripened in June. The larger-kernel blackberries didn’t sweeten until mid-July.
On a good day we would return home with a gallon or more of berries, more than my mother could ever hope to use.
All of that is just background to explain my impulse-purchase of a quart of blackberries at the produce stand last week. On Sunday, we had some friends over to swim, so I tried my hand a pie. It didn’t turn out too bad although I seriously under estimated the amount of corn starch needed. Even cool, it was still fairly “runny.” So I served it in bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I didn’t hear any complaints.
I’ll hold off posting a recipe until I try it again and get a better handle on the amount of thickener needed. Stay tuned.
Our Sunday guests included our friends Sam and Lynn and their now 11-month old twin daughters, Helen and Brittany. The girls are very even tempered, playful and, as you can see from the pictures, extremely cute.
We had a great time.