Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blackberries: They're Weeds for Eleven Months of the Year. Then Comes August!

Most of the time, blackberries are a pain in the ass here in the Pacific Northwest. Once they make an appearance, it's just about impossible to get rid of them. In fact, there are businesses around here dedicated to killing blackberries "for good." All year long, blackberries threaten our yard, encroaching on our beloved landscaping, even threatening to take over, among other things, the stepping stone I made for Tom for our 25th wedding anniversary.
I hate blackberries. No -- wait. I love blackberries; I just hate blackberry brambles and bushes!

As we drove up the hill near our house this afternoon, Kat and I noticed that the blackberries bushes are filled with ripe, sweet berries. Within moments of pulling into the driveway, Kat was back outside, bowl in hand, beckoning me to pick blackberries with her.

So between a trip to Ikea to buy Kat a bed for her new apartment (sob), a trip to Discount Tire to fix the flat tire that literally stopped me in my tracks yesterday (sob), and Kat having to head off for work, we spent a few minutes picking blackberries.

The blackberry bushes haven't just taken over the hillside by our house, they're threatening to take over the street! But they're bearing gifts these days, so we Pacific Northwesterners are willing to cut them more slack than we do during the rest of the year.

The bowl seemed way big at first.

But we managed to fill it pretty quickly.

Sometimes we'd find a gold (or rather, a purple) mine and shout "Euerka!" and...

...pick away. (OK, we didn't really shout "Eureka!" It was more like, Yuuuuuum!")

The thorns on blackberry bushes are incredibly sharp -- and incredibly plentiful -- which must be why the deer haven't eaten all the berries. We joked that we couldn't tell the diffrence between the blackberry juice and our own blood! (Did I say "yuuuuum"?!)

On our way back into the house we stopped to visit Tom as he continued built the shed (alone, now that Peter's away at school), but he was nowhere to be seen.

I actually have a photo of Kat showing off the berries we'd picked after Tom came back outside, but Blogger sometimes rotates my photos for absolutely no reason at all, and no matter what, they show up that way. So turn your head.

In the time that I had the flat tire fixed, Kat had rinsed the blackberries...

...made dough for the crust...

...and prepared the filling.

But then she took off for work, leaving me with no photo of her baked pie (which will be baked later tonight)! So I did what any good blogger would have done: I grabbed photos of baked blackberry pies from Google Images.

Chances are that our pie will look something like this (yeah, right):

...or this:

But not like this:And would you believe that this is 200 calories of blackberry pie? How depressing is that?

And in other news: remember the hot air balloon ride that Elisabeth gave us for our 25th wedding anniversary? Well, either the weather hasn't cooperated or we've been too busy, but tomorrow is the day (if the nice weather holds out). Yes, I am, in fact, terrified already! When I called to confirm the reservation, the guy mentioned that dinner and wine will be served upon landing. I insisted that I could probably use some wine before we lift off -- to which he retorted, "Oh no -- only the pilot gets to do that!"

Thanks, buddy.

Don't worry -- we'll get pictures (if I don't chicken out)! Check back here tomorrow night!

ADDENDUM: Hallalujah! The blackberry pie has been expertly assembled...

and baked...

...and EATEN!

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Margaret said...

My girls love blackberries and my husband is a wild blackberry pie fanatic, but I am not a fan. I enjoy going out to pick them, but much prefer blueberries, and marionberries.

Anonymous said...

I love blackberries. It's funny how you hardly feel the pain of the thorns when you're on a blackberry mission isn't it? hee hee. Enjoy your special balloon trip!

Anonymous said...

We're being over-run with blackberry brambles, but you've certainly given me a great idea... (I especially like blackberry cobbler!)

Hope your hot air balloon ride works out for you -- weather looks better so far than they said it would. Maybe take a snort of wine or whiskey before climbing on? (tee hee)

Anonymous said...

Yum. I too live in the Pacific Northwest and have a love/hate relationship with the berries. Your post makes me want to go out to pick today.

jennifer said...

Same comment, I'm constantly yanking the blackberries out of the ivy and the flowerbed. There is a thicket down the street for picking though! And this time of year I have to go easy on all the pies (ohhh, you're so right about the calories) so I go for unsweetened smoothies, as well as rinsed fruit on cereal. Fresh NW fruit is the best!! Peaches have been great recently too.

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