Blackberry Cobbler

We all have those memories from our childhood of things we didn’t like to do.  It was part of growing up.  Our parents made us do some things that we didn’t enjoy.  For me, one of the dreaded chores was picking blackberries.  Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, where they grow wild and abundantly, it was an annual occurrence to go out and pick blackberries for a cobbler.  Or jam.  Between the long, willowy branches full of those hateful prickles, the bees and the purple fingers, I was just a phone call away from notifying the Child Labor Union that I was being mistreated. 

No doubt, it probably wasn’t that pleasant for my mom, either.  Not the berry picking, which she probably enjoyed, but rather having me along “helping.”  Given how many berries had to be picked to even make a small dent in the coffee can that we used to gather the berries, I’m guessing I was slow to pick but quick to voice my misery the whole time. 

So here’s the ironic thing.  Now I pick wild blackberries whenever I can.  When I discover untapped blackberry brambles, as I did last summer near our house, I get that same rush as when I find something special on sale.   I have a berry pail that I take and I pick my way along the thorny bushes until my pail is full.  While I pick, I honestly think about how fortunate I am to live somewhere where I can pick my own berries and am amazed that there aren’t dozens of people there picking as well.  And, truth be told, I may spend a little time secretly calculating how much the equivalent harvest would cost me at the grocery store.  My fingers still turn purple and sticky, but now they are a brand of accomplishment rather than irritation to me.  I still don’t love the bees.  I’d like to say that I’ve evolved to a greater place in nature and understand that all creatures have a place here and we have to all just learn to live together.  In reality, I’ve just learned that there are fewer bees when it’s cool, so I try and do my picking right before sunset or in-between rain showers.

The serious quest for a good cobbler recipe started in earnest after I discovered the wild blackberries growing near our house last year.  It was a great year for blackberries.  They were small and juicy and sweet.  The rewards of my pails full of berries and purple fingers is this cobbler.  I tried several versions of cobblers, and believe me there is a variety out there, and finally landed on this one.  Truth be told, even as I was making it the first time, I thought, “This will never work.”  But boy was I wrong.  The result is a little bit of crust and berries in each bite.  Simply scrumptious.

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One response to “Blackberry Cobbler”

  1. Bill and Jean G says:

    As we left Seattle last Monday, Aug. 20, we stopped at the site of our previous wild blackberry pickings near North Bend. While I sat in the car and read the newspaper, Bill filled our Cougar drink cups and his McD’s large coke cup with those delicious wild blackberries. He ignores the bees. We put the filled cups into the ice chest and continued the hot trip home. We made his favorite…a wild blackberry pie and froze the remainder. We’re eager to try your cobbler recipe!

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