Dewberry Time, 2020

We had tons of dewberries in 2018. We froze enough to make jam, which I’ve still not done. Luckily Kathleen knows how.

Dewberries are our native berry.

Last year, there weren’t any. I guess it’s cyclical. This is another good year, though. Kathleen and I picked enough for a cobbler last week. This week I picked a lot!

Just some of my haul.

My faithful companion, Vlassic, tried to help out, but the plants were way taller than him. I saw one mouse and one small snake, which isn’t bad, considering how deep in the wild area I went.

I can’t see any berries, Mom.

So, today is dewberry day. I first made dewberry walnut bread. It didn’t rise much.

Fresh berry bread.

However, it’s quite tasty, and Lee and Chris have already finished one loaf. That’s a good sign.

They ate it!

Next, while Kathleen rearranged the pantries, I made a pound cake for Chris’s birthday cake. That used up lots of our eggs, which is good. Nice eggs from Ginger and Berta Lee!

This should be good

To go with the cake, I made a dewberry sauce. Mmm. I tasted it. It’s quite bright!

It looks better in jars.

The rest will be jelly or jam. Kathleen has the equipment. That’s for later in the week. We still have two huge bags!

What could be better than sugar and berries?
The finished product, pound cake with dewberry sauce. It was good with ice cream!

More Dewberries

sauce
Dewberry sauce with many, many spices and seasonings. It went perfectly with the roast venison.

I hadn’t intended to write up two dewberry posts, but other than a couple of fun bird sightings (dickcissels and Eastern kingbirds!), the dewberries were the nature highlight of the weekend for me.

This week there were way more of them than last week. I picked three quarts in just a five-yard stretch along our arroyo. Some of them were as big as fancy blackberries. They must have liked the rainy winter a lot.

From those berries, I made yet another cobbler, and also a really interesting sauce, from a recipe by Jess Pryles for blackberry sauce. There are many interesting ingredients in that there sauce (star anise, whole cloves). I served it with delicious venison backstrap roast, and both my sister and spouse declared it a gourmet triumph.  I’m glad the neighor recommended this recipe, because just the salt/pepper/nutmeg rub on the beef made it worth checking out. Her new cookbook, Hard Core Carnivore is available now, so check it out (she’s also been on lots of book tours lately).

Continue reading “More Dewberries”

Dewberry Time!

dewberries
Just look at that deliciousness (and puppy)

Dewberries are the unofficial plant mascot of Cameron, Texas. They are truly abundant here, judging from all the photos I’m seeing. Cameron even used to have a Dewberry Festival, which featured all sorts of delicious things made with these perky fruits. I miss it.

Here’s what our friends at Wikipedia have to say:

The dewberries are a group of species in the genus Rubus, section Rubus, closely related to the blackberries. They are small trailing (rather than upright or high-arching) brambles with aggregate fruits, reminiscent of the raspberry, but are usually purple to black instead of red. Unlike many other Rubus species, dewberries are dioecious, having separate male and female plants.

That male and female plant part explains why I keep seeing bushes with no fruit! Aha!

We are lucky to have lots of dewberries here at the Hermits’ Rest, though I’d never really done much with them before, other than snack on them. That’s because I never went out looking for them when they were completely ripe. This year, after all that foraging talk, I vowed to do better.

Continue reading “Dewberry Time!”