Little conglomerations called Blackberries.
Smooth, juicy, shiny black balls clumped together.
Growing in the Summer sunshine.
Anticipated at the end of every January.
First the little white flowers.
“The Blackberries have flowers!” the kids whoop.
Then “The flowers are now green berries!”
“The blackberries are red. I saw them. They’ll be black soon.”
And finally someone comes in with the first blackberry, like the dove coming back to the ark with an olive leaf.
It is a promise of good things to come.
But the good things come at a price.
The blackberry bushes are very spiky, catching on everything they can get their little snares into. Even the leaves are prickly.
But the prize is worth it…or they wouldn’t go back year after year to fill those mouths and containers.
Finally the day comes when they troop off with containers, hoping to find enough berries to make a Blackberry Cobbler.
Now a family tradition which we look forward to every year. To keep it special I only make the cobbler when the Mulberries and then the Blackberries are in season.
It is an adventure they look forward to from the time they spot the first flowers.
They bring in a cupful. Not enough.
So they rally up some friends and bring in a container full of the juicy little berries…..the ones that have made it past their mouths out there in the sunshine.
I gauge the amount. A few cupfuls. That should do.
We mix the berries in rapadura sugar and leave them. The sugar draws out the juices in the berries, creating a berry syrup.
I dig out my Blackberry Cobbler recipe and soon the kitchen is filled with the wafting aroma and warmth of pie baking in the oven.
It is one of those very special moments when the warm cobbler is served up with pouring cream drizzled over it.
The ‘pickers’ happily announcing to everyone that they ‘picked the berries’ and ‘Mum made them into a pie.’
Sighs of satisfaction fill the air as appreciative mouths and hearts savour the moment of eating homemade Blackberry Cobbler!