Making good with blackberriesTurn your back on an empty lot for 90 seconds and you'll have a mature crop, nine feet tall and as inviting as the barbed-wire bin at San Quentin.
The conversation typically went like this:
"Are you still writing a column for the Beacon?"
"Nope. I ran out of things to say about traffic round-a-bouts, coal trains and building height limits."
"Did you give up eating, too?
"Then why don't you write a Beacon column about food?"
Well, I suppose I could explain why a lot of Edmonds residents appear tattered and bleeding along about this time each year in the quest for one, a dozen or a bucket full of wild blackberries.
I’ve seen women dressed in nothing more than shorts and halter top pluck one, three, then a dozen berries and suddenly they are fighting, climbing and cussing their way toward deeper, higher, more bountiful clusters.
When they suddenly realize their retreat is blocked as solidly as the side door to Sleeping Beauty's Castle, well, they might as well donate their epidermis to science.
That's weird. After all, these aren't gold nuggets beckoning from behind a screen of dragons' teeth. Blackberries don't require a great deal of cultivation.
Turn your back on an empty lot for 90 seconds and you'll have a mature crop, nine feet tall and as inviting as the barbed-wire bin at San Quentin.
But there is a deserving reward. Serve your washed and sorted berries with your favorite breakfast cereal or, better yet, top with your favorite white vanilla sauce.
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkle the cornstarch over one-half cup milk in a small bowl. Add the sugar and egg yolks. Whisk until combined.
Bring the remaining milk to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Gradually whisk the egg yolk mixture into the milk.
Cook, whisking often, until sauce comes to a full boil., Stir in the vanilla.
Strain through a wire sieve. Serve over the berries, warm or cold.
A fruit pie is also a great idea, but will need a few more berries which might involve climbing higher and deeper into the thicket, sacrificing shirts, slacks and approximately two pints of plasma.
Husbands might also be recruited into the berry search although they will show up for work Monday morning looking as though they had been involved in a scratching match with Lady Gaga.