Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Blackberry Bonanza

Posted July 23, 2007

Yes, I remember the thorns, the bloody fingers, the stains, the sweat and the chiggers.

But it was all worth it.

Blackberry picking as the child growing up in North Carolina was one of the great summertime joys. With the help of my sisters and mother we could harvest enough wild berries for a delicious cobbler. Oh, the thrill of seeing my mother pulling that golden brown cobbler out of the oven and topping it with what we called "hard sauce," a brown sugar and butter mixture.

Today's questions: what are your blackberry memories? What are your favorite blackberry recipes? Are the wild ones better than the farm raised berries?   Where do you get your berries?

And if you are really interested you might want to check out the Blackberry Festival in Lenoir on Saturday.

Let's enjoy a blackberry bonanza.



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  • nbforrest Jul 24, 2007

    How bout peach and apple jacks!

  • nbforrest Jul 24, 2007

    Don't forget da blueberries!

  • nbforrest Jul 24, 2007

    Not only blackberry, my granma know'd how to cook a peach cobbler also!

  • thecatsmeow67 Jul 24, 2007

    I can't pick the blackberries from where I used to pick them because my dad sold his house and the patch was right next to his house on my g'mother's land. We have got a small patch in our
    backyard and I just happened to find it the other week and showed it to my daughter and now whe is having herself a ball picking blackberries. I walk to pick up my DD from camp everyday and there is a small patch along the way and I stop and pick me a few and just stroll with my memories:)

  • packandcanesfan Jul 24, 2007

    Packandcanesfan - do you use a stick of melted butter and self rising flour in your one cup method?


    Hey 2... I know I use self rising but don't recall a stick of butter. I haven't made it in a while. Let me check my recipe when I get home. :) It is quicky and yummy. Especially with a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • jchalmersnc Jul 24, 2007

    Jimmy's Quick and Dirty Dump Fruit Cobbler.

    2.5 cups All purpose flour
    3 cups Sugar
    2.5 tsp Baking Powder
    1.5 tsp Salt
    3 Tbsp Cornstarch and enough water to make a slurry
    1 tsp Pure vanilla or one vanilla bean split and scraped
    3 Tbsp Fresh lime juice 1 cup Butter 1 cup Water Approx 2 cups Buttermilk 1.5 qrts Blackberries or other fresh fruit.

    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

    Place butter in 3-4 qrt dutch oven or baking dish. Set in oven until butter melts and slightly browns. Watch CAREFULLY as butter will burn easily. Remove from oven and set aside.

    Place water and 2 cups sugar into microwave safe bowl or large measuring cup. Heat until sugar dissolves and syrup boils, stirring occasionally. BE CAREFUL!! Pour HOT syrup over fruit and allow to macerate. After about 10 mins add lime juice and cornstarch slurry, mix.

    Combine flour, remaining sugar, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Add one cup buttermilk and vanilla..mix. Add enough butter milk until you have a thick batter...ab

  • dhall357 Jul 24, 2007

    My grandmother lived near Elon College and owned the land next door to her house. The folks she bought the land from had planted all sorts of fruit trees there including blackberry vines. My experience is so similar to those already listed. Hot days in July, trying not to get the "chiggers", scratched hands and arms, and the hot sweet gooey cobbler with vanilla ice cream on it. I do not know the recipe but I am sure my "Mama's" was the best there was. I wish she were here now to fix me some.
    Bill, thanx for the memory.

  • Wifeandkids Jul 24, 2007

    This recipe was in the N&O last month. COURTESY OF WALTER ROYAL, ANGUS BARN

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Jul 23, 2007

    Remember? I don't have to remember; I picked blackberries from the side of the road last week! I go out dressed in long pants, long sleeves, socks and shoes when it's about 110 degrees in the shade and my friends and family think I'm crazy but they never turn down my blackberry jam. They bring back the jars and say "fill it up!" Anybody pick elderberries? Picking the clusters is quick work but cleaning them takes hours.

  • Shagger Jul 23, 2007

    There was bush accross the road from our house near our garden. My brother, my sisters and myself would go over there and eat as many as we could and then we would take some back to Mama and Daddy. The bush is gone now and so are Mama and Daddy, but we still have our memories of those care free days.




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Bill Leslie