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50 Shades of Blackberries: just in time for Father's Day
Ok, the blog title was simply to get your attention. Although there are numerous shades of color as the blackberry ripens from a tiny green pod, moves into an array of reds (they almost look like raspberries), to a dark purple, and then to the deeper shade of black, for the purposes of this blog, berries are either ripe or not.
I spent an agonizing hour, ok, that's an exaggeration, last Sunday picking a berry here and a berry there, everywhere a berry berry, but the majority were not ripe. Today, oh what a difference a week makes!
I place both hands palm side up, fingers curved upwards under clusters of the ripest berries. I wiggle my fingers ever so gentle and both hands are filled with delicious, warm ripe fruit. Take the right hand and place the berries into the bowl beside you. Take the left hand and fill your mouth with berries. Begin again.
When the fruit it ripe, it is truly that easy.
Items to take: water, long sleeved shirt and heavy pants, shoes with hard soles or boots, socks, sun screen, strap around bag or back pack for keys, cell phone, etc., a friend with compulsive disorder (they just don't stop picking), bug spray (ticks are as thick as the berries), plenty of containers (not too large as your berries will become heavy and squish the bottom ones), and a healthy appetite.
It seems as though berries give off heat. Regardless of how cool the morning is, I find I'm covered in sweat from head to toe within minutes of entering a berry patch. Maybe it's the speed in which I'm picking, or the extra calories I'm getting from the berries, or the competitive spirit as my cousin Teresa and I knock each other into the brambles when we spy the fattest, juiciest berries hanging, as always, just out of reach.
Please share berry picking sites, any items I forgot, and your favorite recipes - I hear there is a great blackberry yogurt soup.
If anyone is interested, we can have a berry picking contest. Find someone willing to time you for half an hour and then count your berries once your time is up and report back to me. The winner will receive a gift to be announced.