All my life I have always equated blackberries with summer in North Carolina. Growing up in Connecticut we did not have indigenous blackberries. But when we went to visit my paternal Grandparents at Hom-a-gen Farm, in Providence NC we had an over abundance of the sweet berries that grew wild in a huge thicket down the hill from a cow barn.
My grandmother, Granettes, loved blackberries and my Granddad loved anything free so I was often conscripted into climbing between the prickly brambles to pick the juicy ripe berries.
Granettes was a very good cook from whom I learned many tricks in the kitchen. She was not great at giving me recipes, but would describe at length how biscuit dough should feel between your fingers or how to tell that caramel icing for the 1-2-3-5 cake had been cooked the right amount without ever using a thermometer.
Blackberry cobbler was a huge favorite, especially with the Yankee Grandchildren because first it was a dessert, something we did not get often and second the blackberries were so fresh, those few we brought back in the bucket and not in our stomachs.
I will never forget the earful Granettes gave Granddad when a farm worker accidentally wiped out the whole blackberry patch with a bush hog. It was a sad summer without blackberries.
Yesterday, when I was writing about Friendly’s, a drink I used to get there in the summer came back to mind. It was a watermelon cooler. I think that at Friendly’s it was merely watermelon sherbet and soda water run together in the milkshake machine.
Since cobbler is not on my approved list of helpful weight-loss foods and I was thinking about that watermelon cooler I made up a yummy black berry drink.
½ cup fresh blackberries
2 T. fresh limejuice
2 packets of Splenda
4 mint leaves
1 cup of ice
10 oz. club soda
Put everything in a container that you can put a stick blender in, or in a blender and add about 1/3 of the club soda. Whirl up until the ice is crushed and the black berries are gone. Pour in a big glass and add the rest of the club soda. Tastes like summer to me.