I've been eyeing all the blackberry bushes in my area over the last couple weeks. With the abundance of rain we had late in spring, combined with my areas already high water table, I figured this season would be filled with plump juicy blackberries that would certainly find their way to my table. Over the weekend I couldn't wait any longer and took a little trip down Hwy 29 to see what I could find. Unfortunately they were all growing on pretty steep embankments, and I wasn't eager to repeat my spill last year when I slid down a blackberry hill (note: it's not the falling, but the getting back up that hurts the worse), so I just got what I could from the slightly less treacherous parts. Even with that restriction, it only took 30 minutes, and about twenty thorn scrapes, to have three and a half cups of bulging berries tucked away in my bag. Of course that not counting the ones I ate along the way!
From what I saw, only about half the berries on the bushes were ripe last Saturday. I'm sure there will be several more trips down to the patch before the season is over. Here is the first of my recipes involving one of my favorite parts of summer.
1 tbsp. butter for pan
1.5 cups flour
.5 cups oat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
.5 tsp. baking soda
.75 cups butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2.5 cups blackberries
.25 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1) Preheat oven to 350 and butter a nine inch square backing dish
2) Mix the regular flour, oat flour and backing soda. If you don’t have oat flour, simply chop up regular oats (aka oatmeal) in a food processor until it resembles a coarse meal.
3) In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and white sugar with a hand held mixer at high speeds until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at and time and then the vanilla.
4) Stir the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture in three additions, alternating with the butter milk. Start and end with the flour mixture. The resulting batter will be much lighter/airier than a normal cake mix.
5) Fold in half of the blackberries and pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
6) Sprinkle the top of the buckle with the remaining berries, oats and brown sugar. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
This cake can be served right away with ice cream as a wonderful dessert. The blackberries stay nice and juicy inside and ooze a bit when the buckle is sliced. It's also good the next morning without the ice cream as a delectable coffee cake. Its not an overly sweet buckle so you don't feel like you've started the day off with a sugar rush. Also feel free to substitute your favorite berry or even a mix of berries!
Well, my squash patch may have died off once early in the season, but the second time seemed to take. The sea of green is making our front yard look a little more planned.
Up front is the strawberry patch that has grown in nicely.
As you can probably imagine from the above photo, it's pretty easy to miss a growing squash. I've been trying to go out and tip toe amongst the squash every couple of days to see how things are progressing, but I still seem to end up with over grown summer squashes. Luckily, they still taste pretty good even when they get big. Here are some close ups from my last tip toe.
A handsome Peter Pan squash ready for the frying pan.
This is either Honey Boat or a Pumpkin. We planted them right next to each other...bad idea.
This one is my favorite. A four inch long Butternut Squash. So cute!!
This is a new experiment, Papaya Squash. What I find intriguing about them is that they are almost a neon yellow and VERY shiny.
This is my rather large Spagetti Squash. It hasn't even started to ripen yet and it's already bigger than I'm used to seeing.
Last but not least we had a Yellow Crookneck Squash. I believe this one is going in a chicken soup tonight!
Thanks for coming with me on a walk through my squash patch. While I am pretty happy with how it's turned out, next time I might space them further apart to make harvesting easier. Then again....
I may be new to this whole stay at home mom thing, but as with most things, my husband and I are stumbling our way through with the help of google searches and youtube! Join us as we continue our adventures in gardening, animal wrangling, home improvement projects and our newest addition of baby Claire!