It was a delightful surprise that Mr Leaven also grew up picking berries, although he had never heard of a 'dewberry' until being adopted by my family. He too loves the thrill of the chase, seeking out the blackest, biggest, juiciest berry while deftly avoiding those really pointy thorns that surround the little buggers on all sides. Yeah, not so deftly in my case, anyway. Right now, every keystroke sends burning pain down a different finger from the hundreds of scratches and mostly-removed splinters in my hands and forearms. Don't get me wrong - Mr Leaven is not unscathed either. He has a delightful puncture wound in his foot from a hidden stick (and then he slipped into the stream we intended to cross, coating the wound with muddy goop and [worst of all] spilling a few of the berries). So, so worth it. We have 2 pails-full of ripe dewberries, ready for cobbler, jam, sorbet, cocktails, vinaigrettes, and who knows what else.
|Pre-foot injury. I swear I did not force him to get into the water to pick the perfect dewberries growing on the bank.|
|These are now 'dewberry pants'.|
|Can you see the camouflaged inchworm?|
|There he is again!!|
Tonight, we ate a few, had a yummy gin/dewberry/lemon juice/simple syrup cocktail or two (we will need to work on the proportions - hard work - before providing the recipe), and then crashed in front of the TV because berry-pickin' is hard work. I had a wonderful time catching up with must-see TV (does anyone still call it that? I love NBC Thursdays!) and the rest of my family fell asleep immediately.
Last week, the first load of dewberries was made into a really lipsmacking sorbet. I managed to make 3 dessert items last week (flourless chocolate cake, dewberry sorbet, orange curd) without a single photo of any of them. One of these days, I'll remember to use my camera and your mind will be blown. Just believe now that the sorbet is as good as you are imagining, put on some long pants and maybe some boots, find yourself a dewberry spot (beside railroads, fences, concrete embankments, dog parks are good tries), pick 4 cups' worth, and sorbet it up. Oh, word to the wise - do not decide there are so many delicious berries that you're just gonna sit down in the middle of the patch and pick away. While you may not find thorns attached to your posterior, you may find out what a chigger is and how much better your life would be if you had never met one. Funny that I end each dewberry experience bleeding, hurting, and/or itching, and yet I'm back at it the next year. I must have a genetic mutation. Thanks, Mom.