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JoNell vs. the Blackberries: Round One

August 13, 2009

All along the road leading to our house grown quite the mass of blackberry brambles.  Perfect cover for those adorable bunnies, I dare say.  But since bunnies can only reach so high to pick blackberries (and they do.  I’ve seen it.  It is extremely adorable.), I feel no guilt at picking whatever blackberries are within reach.  When I can get Patrick to help me, I can get even more!

The second, and most recent, gathering excursion had its trying moments.  Almost as soon as I set out, it began to rain.  Not really a problem, I like the rain.  I even like thunder storms (like the one I was picking in).  But it made the berries take on strange shapes.

I learned something about blackberry picking: apparently, ants like them.  They converge upon one blackberry.  And the thing about ants is that you do not always notice them at first.  Especially in the rain, when the blackberries look funky anyway.  But I did figure it out, freaking out at the moving blackberry I almost picked and squeeking out a girlish yelp.

Then I looked in my pitcher to find ants all over inside.  I guess I picked the wrong one.  Got the heebie-jeebies and out the blackberries went.  Luckily, I had just started so there were only a couple of handfuls in there.

At one point I thought I would be bold, venture a little further into the bushes than normal in an attempt to grab some that would normally b e just out of reach.  I actually had to get out of my cardigan in order to detach it from the thorns!

Still, gather them I did.  While doing so, I saw a bunny butt as it scampered under the bushes.  I saw some resting bumble bees (could they have been sleeping?) and a resting non-bumble bee.  And I saw a frog!  Who knew frogs take refuge in blackberry brambles when there is a perfectly acceptable pond right around the corner?  I also heard, though I did not see, the duck that lives around said pond.  It was quite the adventure.

So far, I have gathered two Tupperware pitchers full of blackberries.  That’s about 24 cups with more to ripen by the end of next week.  They have been cleaned, bagged, and put in the freezer.  My initial thought was to make jam.  However, since we leave for our long trip in just over a week and I do not own any canning equipment anyway (I could always borrow my mom’s, but I’d still need jars and cute labels), I have begun to despair at filling the freezer full of nothing but blackberries.

Mind you, I would be perfectly happy having them.  I could whip up a cobbler in a moment’s notice and dessert could be served to unexpected guests.  Or to me when I’m feeling the munchies.  Either way, having so many blackberries is a wonderful thing.

Except we have very limited freezer space.  So, poor Patrick, he has to live through my experimentations. But what shall I come up with?

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