Monday, July 6, 2009

In Spain the word mora refers to mulberries, but in Mexico it has transferred over to the blackberry. This gives us one of my favorite Spanish words- morado, meaning purple, the color of blackberries. It comes up often in pop ballads because it describes the color of the bruises that love can leave on the heart. My hands have been morado as well lately because we are having one of the biggest blackberries seasons that I can remember. You may recall that last summer I went on at length about the swath of them that follows the railroad track through the middle of town. It's about a hundred yards from my kitchen door so I'm able to pick them almost every day. It's high season for everything now and it seemed to come upon us so suddenly that I haven't even had time to put fried okra on the menu yet.

Tomatoes , corn, beans, cucumbers and every kind of herb have returned to their traditional places on our summer menu. The cold fried chicken has caused it usual stampede. The tomato and watermelon salad is back as well, but everyone around here makes their own now so it's less of a big deal. It pleases me, though, that so many people have taken this recipe into their home repertoires. Someone brought me some of those Sea Island red peas from Anson Mills and when I tasted them I was reminded of something my great grandmother used to make using peas and corn so a new salad may show up soon. That is if I have time. I can't decide if I'm slowing down with age, but it sometimes seems to take all my time just to keep the basics on the menu.

I had said that I wouldn't make blackberry pies because the wild ones had so many seeds that I was afraid that they would seem gritty. The berries pureed in a food mill for the sherbet, so a lot of the seeds are removed and the Madeira sabayon only uses a little fruit. However, peaches didn't show up as expected this week so I decided to make just two pies to bridge the gap. Instead of being seedy, the pies had the consistency of Fig Newtons and were perfectly delicious. It looks like we will have at least a week more of blackberry picking so look for more pies. At left is a portrait of some of our summer gleanings.

posted by Bill Smith at 5:07 AM


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