Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday

My tackle for the day is... yummy!

I'm at "home" (my hometown) with the kids for the week. And I'm so excited. It's giving me a ton of time to do so many of the things that I miss doing with my mom, and with the kids, and showing them just a little bit of the way I grew up. So I'm excited. I love going home.

So while we're here, we're going to accomplish a few things on our Summer To-Do List. Not only will we be spending lots of time with Grandma, but we're also going to be picking and canning blackberries. She's been doing some picking before we got here, but I can't turn down free food so I know I'll be doing a "bunch" of picking as well.

We are in the height of blackberry season and they are everywhere. While the vines and brambles may be a pain throughout the rest of the year, I can't wait to get to them around Aug. This year we've had a lot of wildfires in our area, keeping the air cool and the berries juicy. There's been a great mix of sunshine to sweeten them up and overcast, smokiness to keep them from drying up. I'm dying to get my hands on some.

Doing some research on these berries, I've found out some great facts. One cup of berries is only 62 calories. They are a fantastic source of vitamins C and E, as well as fiber and potassium. To learn more, this is a great site to check out: Blackberries Nutrition Facts.

Tips for picking:
  1. Wear old, full-coverage clothing. I usually put on a pair of ripped jeans, an old, long-sleeved shirt, socks, and close toed shoes. The blackberry brambles are very thorny and you want to protect yourself as much as you can. Blackberry juice also stains easily so older clothes are a better option.
  2. Try the most obvious spots for blackberries first. Check out your backyard or your friends' backyards. Those are quick and easy places to pick. If that's not an option, scout out an easy access spot near your home: empty lots, quiet roadsides, etc. Make sure they haven't been sprayed if possible.
  3. Mornings and early evenings are the best times to pick. It's cool and you will feel more like picking if you're comfortable. Since this is also the time of day when most mosquitos are out, I would also suggest spraying on some mosquito repellant as well. Mosquitos will bite right through your clothing.
  4. Pick the berries that are the blackest and softest. When you start to pick, the berry should come off easily. If you have to tug too hard, it's not ready. Leave it alone.
  5. Stomp down the bushes as you go and you can reach back further into the patch. But don't forget to get low into the vines first. Many times if you do a little searching you will find some of the nicest, plumpest berries tucked low to the ground.
Some suggestions for your harvest include:
Blackberry Smoothies
Blackberry Jam
Blackberry Syrup
Blackberry Pies and Cobblers
Blackberry Ice Cream
and of course,
Handfuls and Handfuls of Berries to munch on!

Berries are so nutritionious, portable, and sweet. They make a great afternoon snack even by themselves. Big Boy just loves to have some to munch on. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Audra Krell said...

THey sound soooo incredible! Love your facts you posted, only 62 calories? I could have several handfuls. That was if they had in them in AZ. The only thing to pick here is the thorns our of your leg from the jumping Chollas!

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