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Foraging for Wild Blackberries

Picking Blackberries

Picking Blackberries

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.

Making blackberry cobbler

Thickening and Boiling

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). 

Wild Blackberry Cobbler

Wild Blackberry Cobbler

I may never buy blackberries again.

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9 Responses

  1. I remember picking wild blackberries when I was a little girl, along with my friends we had so much fun! And my mom’s wild blackberry cobbler is my favorite part of the day. Thanks for sharing this blog. If you wont mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to your post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post so it will appear in the Foodista pages and it’s all set, Thanks!

  2. Your so pretty.

    (p.s..I know I don’t comment much, but I def. always read 🙂

  3. I can’t wait to get back to Seattle, there are wild blackberries right near my apartment, that I hope are still in good shape when I get back. Good find girl.

  4. Picking wild berries is so much fun, and then to get home and make some of the freshest cobbler is a wonderful treat too!

    Bon appetit!

  5. Berries in the Northwest are such a treat! We’re headed to Seattle and Vancouver this weekend and cannot wait to forage around with our toddler!

  6. I would adore picking wild berries…and I would especially adore such a lovely dessert to showcase my bounty. This looks delicious!

  7. I love fruity desserts, and this one sounds especially delicious!

  8. YUM!!! There is a wild blackberry bush outside my office building. They looked to be a week or 2 from rip last week. I’lll have to check again this week and make something yummy with them!

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