As we were picking the blackberries, with the warmth of the May sun on our backs, my mind returned to my childhood days of growing up in rural Calhoun County, where we felt that same heat as we "worked the land" in hopes of a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables. About this time of year, Momma would call us kids to go out back to pick blackberries. We had a few vines that grew along the Howell's barbed-wire fence. The fence’s main purpose, of course, was to keep our neighbor's cows in the pasture, but it served a pretty good trellis for the blackberry vines, too. There were always only enough berries for one big cobbler every year. In my mind’s eye, I can still see Momma’s cobbler, with its buttery, golden brown crust, steaming hot in the baking dish she always used when making this yummy dessert. Blackberry cobbler was a real treat then, and now!
Just a wee heads-up about blackberry picking- one must be alert for the three nuisances that can ruin a good blackberry picking trip: thorns, snakes and poison ivy!
Our kids were in awe that we took something that was growing in our backyard, and an hour later, we had a tasty dish of cobbler. Poor little "town-raised" kids. They know nothing of planting and gathering for ones food. I am reminded of the old Hank Williams, Jr. song, “A Country Boy Can Survive”, in which Hank sings the praises of being able to plow a field all day long , catch catfish from dusk till dawn, grow good ole tomatoes, say grace before a meal, call a lady “Ma’am”, and know that you can’t be starved out - because country folks can survive. My kids are a part of the changing South, and they would starve to death if "The Pig" closed its doors!
Below is the recipe I used for our blackberry cobbler. Since I only had a cup of berries, I only needed a fourth of each ingredient.
Here’s the cobbler recipe:
Ready for the oven!
1/2 cup butter
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups milk
3 1/2 cups blackberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once oven temperature is reached melt butter in a 9x13 inch baking pan. Mix blackberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, sugar and milk; batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour mixture on top of melted butter in baking pan. Do not mix butter and mixture together. Drop blackberries into batter; if more crust is desired add less blackberries. Sprinkle top with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake in preheated oven for one hour, or until golden brown.