June: “In early summer, every green thing grew very quickly. The garden lush and full. In the fields, the corn stood sturdy and tall. In the woods, the blackberries were ripe and, at the dinner meal, bowls of blackberries and fresh cream were served. The kitchen was filled with the sweet, syrupy smell of blackberries as the women made blackberry pie and blackberry cobbler, blackberry pudding, and blackberry jam to spread on hard biscuits. For a special treat, Ma mixed a syrup of blackberry juice, vinegar, and precious white sugar and mixed it with cool spring water for the refreshing drink called blackberry shrub.” (By the Seasons) By the Seasons, Cookery at the Homeplace, 1850, TVA’s Living History Farm, Golden Pond, Kentucky http://www.meckdec.org/cooking-guild/historic-food-almanac
I love blackberries; I think everybody must. Those little black bursts of sweet and tart just explode in the mouth. Last month I found delicious ,.fresh blackberries at Farmer John’s and decided to make blackberry dumplings.
- 1 quart blackberries, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar (or less depending on how sweet you like the syrup)
- 1⁄2teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2teaspoon lemon zest and a tbs butter
- 1 1⁄2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2teaspoons baking powder
- 1tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄4teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 2⁄3cup milk
Cooking the blackberries:Add all ingredients to a pot and boil gently until the blackberries are tender and juicy.
To make the dumplings: sift together the first 4 ingredients. Make a well in the center of the flour and stir in the milk.
Bring the blackberries to a simmer and drop in the dumplings by the tablespoon. Do not stir. Cover and cook about 15 minutes until the dumplings are done.