Wild Black Berries and an Awesome Cobbler
Wild Black Berries-One of Natures Gifts
Here it is the last of June 2012 and here on our beloved Green River the black berries are ripening. We haven't had the rain this that makes for big berries but there is an adequate supply of wild berries free for the picking along rural roadsides and for us, we have them around our old barn. Last year I was able to pick about 3 gallons for pies and a run or two of jelly and there is nothing so delightful to the palate or that than can compare to a blackberry cobbler.
As youngsters we picked black berries to sell to local folks and one restaurant in the mill village. We only got about $4 per gallon but picking the berries kept us occupied and out of trouble and the few dollars we made was ours to keep. There was always the scratched arms and purple fingers to show for our labor not to mention all the ones that were diverted to our mouths staining our lips as we sampled our wares with almost every handful that made it tour pail.
Mama always told us,"You boys watch out for snakes while you're picking those berries." Since the berries grew wild, the grass and underbrush around the berry plants was always high and snakes would lurk in the shadows., especially black snakes that might be laying wait for some bird feeding on the ripe berries. Here in WNC we also have copperheads and rattle snakes both poisonous vipers whose bite can be deadly. The copperheads blend well with the ground clutter and are hard to see. The rattle snake normally will shake their rattles when they feel they are endangered. Fortunately for humans both the poisonous varieties will move away rather than toward humans. Black snakes which are not poisonous will sometimes climb trees in search of birds or their nests. Around my barn I have seen some pretty impressive black snakes. These I don't bother since I know they eat rodents and also tend to to be territorial keeping other snakes away.
Picking black berries also carries another risk here in the mountains, those pesky chiggers. Any country boy or girl can tell you these small insects can inflict a mean bite that itches to no end. Thank goodness for new products we can rub on our skin or spray on our clothing to avoid these little demons from hell. Being out near the wooded areas, we also run the risk of ticks. I hear they are going more numerous this year. If you're out and about always check and be sure you haven't picked up a hitch hiker. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a disease carried by some ticks so a word to the wise should be sufficient.
I am a lover of cobblers and black berry is my all time favorite. The wild berries have the best flavor and an outing to pick berries with the reward of a cobbler is worth the effort. If you have access to some black berries you should treat yourself to a big cobbler. Here is a simple recipe I copied and pasted to my hub to share, even I can make this one. I like my cobblers a little on the tart side with little dough and a lot of juice. A little bit of vanilla ice cream would only be a bonus.
WILD BLACKBERRY COBBLER 1 c. flour2 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. salt1/4 c. butter1 1/2 c. sugar2 1/2 c. berries1/2 c.milk
Cook berries with 1/2 cup sugar. Cream butter with 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beating smooth after each addition.
Pour batter in greased casserole dish. Pour juice and berries over all. Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Very good!
Many of the old timers like to use the wild black berries to make wine. Black berry wine has long been a traditional folk treatment for stomach ailments.
- Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases
- Western North Carolina Nature Center, Asheville, North Carolina > Animals > Reptiles & Amp
Official website of the City of Asheville Western North Carolina Nature Center
- Chiggers (Bites) Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment by MedicineNet.com
Learn about chiggers and chigger bites. Chiggers do not burrow into the skin, they have feeding structures that insert into the skin. Find out how to protect yourself from getting chigger bites.
- Wild Blackberries
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