What to Do With 54 Pounds of Blackberries?

July 10, 2014 | By | Comments (5)

We have a joke at our farm, specifically describing my husband’s excitement for anything outdoors, his work ethic, and his hunger to grow: “Why do, when you can overdo?” Staring at my inky-purple stained fingertips as I type, it’s evident this applies to our ever-expanding blackberry patch. I’m just about outdone. I’ve been picking more than any Peter and his peck of peppers, topping the scales at 54 pounds in the last few weeks. I’ve run out of bowls and baskets and resorted to using the hat on my head. Blackberry Hat BasketAt first, we relished fresh blackberries straight off the canes—dreaming of that plump berry for the last ten months creates a little “pick fresh” frenzy. On yogurt, in cobblers, baked into a rustic galette, garnishing a dessert cheese plate… you name it, we’ve conquered it. Now we’re hauling in berries by the bucket-load and desperately seeking salvation with recipe inspiration. If berries are booming in your neck of the woods, may I suggest beginning with a bang: Blackberry Margaritas. Since testing this one for our garden cookbook (over, and over, and over again. Remember the farmer mantra: Why do when you can overdo?), I’ve fallen for it as a favorite and sequester berries to the freezer for out-of-season enjoyment.  To save some of the season’s treasure, try this: spread unwashed berries loosely on a jelly roll pan and place in the freezer. Once fully frozen, toss in a freezer zip-top bag for use in smoothies, beverages, and desserts where plump perfection won’t matter.

Frozen Blackberry

Making batches of berry jam is a tried-and-true tradition that should make the short list. With our heavy load, I was a little overwhelmed at the prospect of canning it all, until a pair of super-simple appliances came to the rescue. Ball, the folks who wrote the well-loved bible on all things you can can, created a quick and easy jam maker ($99) and a worry-free, no-sweat automatic canning machine ($299). Low sugar recipes are included in the instructions and new recipes are continually added online. The set-it-and-forget-it nature left me time to go back to those blackberry margaritas…

Blackberry Margarita Cooking Light

With the price at the market hovering near $10 per pound, this “little patch” has become quite precious. To grow your own, look for popular thornless varieties that have been cultivated to produce plumper berries much bigger than those backyard freebies without the scratches and scars. ‘Navaho,’ ‘Arapaho,’ and ‘Ouachita’ were bred by the University of Arkansas with much success. ‘Kiowa’ is also a favorite for flavor. Find a spot in full sun and trellis the canes on a rustic fence or wire for best results. Get all the dirt on growing these in our garden-themed cookbook, Pick Fresh.

 

A potato masher makes quick work of juicing berries.

A potato masher makes quick work of juicing berries.

COMMENTS

  1. Jasmin

    Really grat and fantastic. Looklike so testy. I love it.. Thanks for the posts.

    September 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm
  2. Ibraheem mousa

    I love it

    July 23, 2014 at 7:31 pm
  3. kimb

    Those are blackberries, black raspberries have no core when picked.

    July 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm
  4. Deb Martin

    Are these black berries or black raspberries?

    July 23, 2014 at 3:52 pm
  5. isupermarketchn

    nice blog…please visit here
    http://www.isupermarket.in/ .. to check out Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Grocery and Staples, Beverages, Confectionery & Dairy products, Fresh Meats, Personal Care and Household products.Shop online and save your money and time.

    July 14, 2014 at 2:08 am

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