Monday, November 12, 2012

Briarberry Pudding

Briarberries, Blackberries, Mûres ~ Delicious by any name!
We used to go picking briarberries* in summer dressed in long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect us against the briars and mosquitos. We also wore rubber boots (some would call them Wellingtons or wellies) to protect us against snakes such as copperheads or cottonmouths.  We collected the berries in galvanized buckets, eating as many as we wanted and still leaving plenty for mama to make some Briarberry Pudding (recipe below) - and still enough to put some in the freezer too, for later.

I remember one particular time when my brother and I went briarberry picking next to a garden that a neighbor was kind enough to let us use. We had to walk through a field then through the woods to get there. We called it "the other garden." As we were on our way there, when we came out of the woods, we saw that the grass next to the old tobacco barn was really high. One of us commented, "This'd be a good place for a snake!" Sure enough, just a few steps later, we encountered a black snake. No problem, because he wasn't a poisonous one. But there's always that instant of chills running through the blood before the brain kicks in with the information that there's no danger. I suppose we should count ourselves pretty fortunate that we never got bitten by snakes, the way we ran barefoot almost everywhere.

*I didn't learn for years that briarberries were otherwise known as blackberries.  I think briarberries is a much better name for them.

Mama's Briarberry Pudding
2 cups sifted self-rising flour
a good forkful of shortening (1/3 cup)
Enough buttermilk to wet the flour [If you can't find buttermilk, you can use regular milk with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar added - just enough to make it curdle]
1 quart briarberries

Cut shortening into flour. Mix in buttermilk. Fold in blackberries; don't overmix. urn batter into a greased 9x14 baking dish. Bake at 450° F (approx. 235° C) for 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
Serve with butter sauce to taste.

Butter Sauce

1/4 pound butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar (or 2/3 if you like it a little sweeter)
1/3 cup water

Mix ingredients; melt together over medium heat and bring to a boil before serving as desired over briarberry pudding.

 Eat it while it's hot!

No comments: