Friday, August 20, 2010

20 August 1956 “It’s Blackberry Season!”

berrypicking Well, folks, here in 1956 it is Blackberry Season!blackberrieshand Here you can see a lovely handful of these delicious fruit. I have bushes I have planted in my yard (still giving a small yield but will increase next year). The path we take to the seashore is also lined with blackberries. Luckiest of all, of course, was dear Gussie brought home a large bag full from our local farm where she works.
Now, I love blackberries. They are the perfect blend of sweet and tart. They always herald those late summer days, dining alfresco, and sweet mouthfuls of ripe berries and cream.
We have been Blackberry Mad around here lately. I have made countless batches of blackberry pancakes. Yesterday, I wanted to make filled crepes. I had some cream cheese in the house, so I simply popped some in the mixer, added some sugar and vanilla extract and whipped it smooth. No recipe here, just go for consistency and taste to your liking. You could have even added blackberries to that while you were mixing it to give it taste and color.blackberrycrepes Here they are.blackberrycrepesupclose In all fairness, they are really thinner pancakes and I used toothpicks to keep the closed. Normally, when I make a crepe, they are much thinner and would have been easier to roll onto themselves and hold their shape. I simply made my usual pancake recipe and just reduced the baking powder. Normally, when I make crepes, rather they are sweet or savory, I use my recipe from the 1950’s Boston Cooking School Fanny Farmer cookbook.
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk or meat stock (depending on sweet or savory of course)
Mix well, make thin pancakes.
Very easy indeed and savory crepes are a great way to stretch a food budget. Leftover meat and even potatoes and veg mixed with an easy gravy or sauce stuffed into crepes, topped with sauce and garnished. Looks lovely, very easy and tastes wonderful!
I also make some wonderful Blackberry scones the other morning. Some mornings when I get up a little earlier than usual, I like to bake for breakfast. I am a morning person and having the house quiet, the coffee percolating often sets the perfect baking mood.
This recipe is rather easy and makes a triangular scone.
Blackberry Scone
3 cups flour
1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cups butter (cold and cut up, I keep my baking butter in the freezer)
1 cup butter milk (if you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, it’s easy to make. Add one tbs vinegar to each cup of milk needed.)
handful of blackberries (about a cup)
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and then cut in butter. I always use a pastry cutter so as to keep the dough cooler, like when you make a pastry dough. Gently stir in the blackberries. make a circular shape with the dough.sconedough Cut into triangles. Brush tops with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. They turned out rather well and were very delicious.blackberryscone blackberrysconeupclose
I also made some wonderful Blackberry/Blueberry Jam. I had blueberries left over from Gussie’s last farm gift of blueberries. A touch of lemon rind to this sort of jam does wonders to the taste.
Now, on the list to make still are some of the following. I found this great recipe in one of my magazines for a baked date pudding.I am just going to replace the dates with blackberries. And instead of just orange juice will most likely use less juice but put it in the blender with fresh blackberries to add more fresh flavor. (click to view full size)
Blackberry Roulade And I would like to make a good Blackberry Roulade. THIS RECIPE is fairly good, though it is modern. Most likely I will end up tweaking it, as I do most recipes. I am not sure why this happens other than when I use a recipe now I have certain baking formula that flit about my head and recall things from previous recipes. Therefore such thoughts as “Oh, this would be nice with buttermilk” or “If I added some cocoa here and I could cut back on the flour here and make it a bit moister” come to me.
Now a Roulade is not only a dessert item. The word Roulade originates from the French word "rouler" meaning "to roll". Therefore meat lends itself well to this roll and fill food stuff. Duck is wonderful in a roulade, especially stuffed with pate’ (If you love fatty things as I do!) HERE is a great step by step for a meat roulade that uses flank steak. I often find this type of meal great for a cheaper cut steak, for when you slice it and pound it well (with your meat mallet or rolling pin) it really tenderizes it.
From one of my favorite cookbooks,   bettycrocker  Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook, Is this recipe for Blackberry cream pie (click to enlarge and read) I love how this book is set up, as it gives you the guide to make a basic recipe and the suggestions to make variations, therefore teaching you how to make your own recipes. blackberrycreampierecipe This is the page for the one layer pie crust.piecrustrecipe
Well, I hope whatever your current climate is, you are able to enjoy cooking and baking with some local fruits.
Until tomorrow, Happy Homemaking.
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