Blueberries and Raspberries have arrived!!! Also just in from Yakima; Apricots, Rainier Cherries, Yellow Squash, Pickling Cucumbers, Salad Cucumbers, and Green Beans!
For those of us who love to forage for our berries, this is the season we have been waiting upon. The Little Wild Blackberries are finally beginning to appear. Thanks to our less than scorching early summer, they are late this year. The positive spin is that they will continue to grow more plump and delectable each day that the temperature stays in the cool zone. The LWB ( as we old-timers like to call them) are one of the secret joys of living here. Outsiders think that blackberries are those big, seedy and less flavorful Himalayan or Evergreen varieties, but we know better. Is there any secret more guarded and well- kept than the location of a good LWB picking patch? Honestly, we don’t let even a hint drop from our lips, even to the very best friends. I’m pretty sure that most pickers would not even tell their mothers!
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One must be well prepared to dive into the briar patch. Without being properly clothed, the welts and scratches can take weeks to heal. And then there are the bugs. Not to worry, I am here to assist you. The Hoquiam Farmers Market is the place to buy your lotions for protection! Our very own Sara Paylor makes wonderful non-toxic products that are safe to use on the most delicate skin. She has Natural Sunscreen, ‘Ain’t No Bugs on Me’ repellant , After Sun Soothers, and several kinds of lovely healing lotions. Her lip balm will keep you lips kissable, and when you step into your well-deserved shower, her soap and shampoo will bring you back to your usual sparkling self.
We have been in the midst of the Strawberry frenzy for the past several weeks, providing the excellent Spooner’s Berries on the west side of Myrtle Street. Alas, the strawberries have all been picked and consumed now. The strawberries in our garden have had a great year and we had planned on several more weeks of harvesting them. Until the other night. I happened to glance out of the window, and who did I see chomping down with great gusto on our strawberry patch??
You probably guessed it- one of our resident deer. I ran outside and chased him away, but the damage had been done. We’re not sure which of us left the fence unlatched, but now I’m planting flowers in the strawberry patch.
However- Raspberry season has arrived!! The Spooner Raspberries are a particularly delicious variety, large and juicy. Blueberries, the favorite berry of Dinah Sue, are finally here, and in a few weeks the Marionberries will arrive, keeping our berry lovers content. Be sure to let us know if you want to have berries held for you. They sell out quickly each day, but we can hide a flat for you where no one else will find it until you arrive to claim it for yourself. Making summer berry jams is one of the most satisfying home projects, and it is so easy. Plus, if you set some aside for future Christmas gifts you will be less stressed in December and be giving a gift of love from your own kitchen.
We pick and freeze lots of berries, knowing that they will be Black Gold during the winter. I love making a LWB pie or cobbler on a dark winter day, savoring the tartness of the berries and remembering the fun that I had picking them.
Here is a tried and true recipe for Berry or Fruit Cobbler
one stick of butter two tsp baking powder
one half cup sugar one fourth tsp. salt
one cup flour one half cup of milk
Mix butter and sugar in food processor, then add the rest and combine.
In a large bowl combine
six cups of Little Wild Blackberries, or your choice of fruit or berries
3 tblp. Tapioca
one half cup of sugar
note- if you are using previously frozen berries, it helps to microwave the mixture for 5 minutes before putting into the baking pan
Pour the berries into a 9" X 12" pan, spoon the batter over the berries, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Hoquiam Farmers Market
Remember- Nancy makes fabulous LWB pies and jams! Saving you time and those cuts, bruises and scratches! 538-9747 for orders and the Deli
Open Wednesday thru Sunday