For one of my Christmas presents, Jim planned us a weekend get-away to Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula. After our initial dates didn’t work out, we rescheduled for this past weekend, for a little catch-up time after our 3-weeks apart.
The most direct route from Seattle to Port Townsend involves a ride across the Puget Sound on one of the Washington State Ferries. In the summer, the wait times can be long, very long, and until you make it to the holding area, you can’t abandon your car.
On our way back from our trip, the wait time was nearly two hours. While we were waiting on the side of the road next to our car, I spied a wild blackberry bush, full of ripe berries. With visions of cobbler and pies, I grabbed one of the reusable grocery bags I always have in the car and Jim and I headed across the road to start picking.
Naturally, I was not appropriately attired. Blackberry bushes are prickly and as the many scratches along the tops of my feet will attest, ballet shoes are not a smart footwear choice when picking blackberries. Sweaters too, a bad call. Mine got snagged often, but luckily was not destroyed. Despite these obstacles, by the time we had to get in the car to move up in line and into the holding area we had what we thought was about 2 cups of blackberries (as it turned out it was probably 3-4). We did a quick scout of the town and found a whole corner of wild blackberry bushes. We retrieved our bag of berries from the car and began picking in earnest. Soon our bag was full and it was time to board the ferry.
When we got home I found out that blackberries macerate quickly and double bagging is not enough – if only I had the foresight to have a pail with me. I hustled the blackberries into the house before they could do further damage to my floor mats and dumped them straight into a colander. They barely fit. In our desire to pick enough blackberries for a cobbler we had picked two times the necessary amount! It was definitely cobbler time. I took down my trust Betty Crocker cookbook and started cooking.
The recipe was quick and easy. I altered it slightly by adding about a cup of blackberries to the mix once it was already thickened and boiled and doubling the biscuity topping. The result was a fresh, tangy-sweet cobbler (next time I would probably double the amount of sugar in the recipe).
I may never buy blackberries again.