This morning I took my long planned (as in since October last year) trip to pick fresh blackberries. I wanted to wait for a day when I didn't have to take the kids with me since it is a HOT prickly job that they always enjoy for about 5 minutes. After that they mostly eat the ones they managed to pick up until then. Carson surprised me by asking to come along. Even after I explained about the thorns and heat he was still wanting to come so my middlest boy and I took off. The brambles are getting harder to find. I understand that people (like the utility department) don't like to have the thorns around, but I can't wait until have a permanent house to plant a big row on purpose. There is a spot about a mile from my house where the brambles are plentiful enough to pick a few cups at a time. I wish I could find out who owned it so that I could ask permission, but so far it's just a big mess of bushes, small trees, weeds and somewhere in there some berries.
We managed to pick about 4 cups in the 45 minutes we were out there. Carson asked if Grand-gran could eat blackberries and after a couple of garbled up cell phone calls we finally figured out that she could and Carson offered her his two cups. When we got home we spent the rest of the morning cleaning the house and yard and I cooked up a big lunch - T-bone steaks, corn on the cob, pickles, tomatoes and, for dessert, Blackberry Bars. :o)
If you are lucky enough to know a spot to pick fresh blackberries or find them on sale at the store, here is the recipe:
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
* 1/4 cup butter (I substituted Willow Run All soy Margarine)
* 1/2 cup sour cream (I substituted Toffuti Better than Sour Cream)
* 1 egg, beaten
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 cup fresh blackberries
* powdered sugar, sifted
Combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press 1 1/3 cups of mixture in bottom of an ungreased 8-inch square pan.
Combine remaining crumb mixture, sour cream, egg, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla; blend well. Stir in blackberries. Spoon over crust, spreading evenly. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool; cut into 2 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch bars. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 12 bars
And yes, I did forget the powdered sugar until after we had started seconds. They were good without it, but even better with. Happy berry hunting!