Some of my favorite, well, memorable memories from childhood and motherhood involve blackberries. It was a tradition during my childhood to gather up crisco cans, buckets, and whatever would hold a bunch of berries and head up the holler at my nanny's farm.
We kids had no choice--we had to pick blackberries. I don't remember any insect spray and I don't remember ticks. I do, however, remember chiggers! I started wearing fingernail polish at an early age (on the chigger bites that is).
Fast forward to motherhood: My youngest son and I made it a yearly ritual to go along the roadways where we lived to pick blackberries. We lived way out in the country and all the roads were dead ends and gravel and we could pick gallons of berries within a stone's throw of the house. We'd be sweating and itching and fighting bugs and I would always say "think about having a great blackberry pie in December". He'd laugh and say that he could go right there with me!
Now, there are thornless blackberries on the farm. I still can't get near them without being careful of the thorns even though they are thornless! I found an awesome recipe for not a pie, but a crunch. I love "crunches" with fresh berries whether cherries, blueberries, or blackberries. Here's the recipe:
Fresh Fruit Crisp
2 cups fresh fruit, 3/4 cups sugar, 2T all purpose flour, 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (I use quick cooking), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a large bowl combine fruit, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 T flour. Pour into a square baking pan (8x8 or so). In a medium bowl combine 3/4 cup flour, oats, and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
It's great with ICE CREAM! It's also good nuked in the microwave the next day; it stays crispy!