So, I went for a walk to get some fresh anise which grows wild all around here, and I discovered blackberries! omg so many luscious gorgeous blackberries.
The anise was for my California cole slaw recipe, which has gotten rave reviews from even the hard to please... I believe that "The Herb Shall Be Thy Mete", is the correct translation, meaning that herbs are amazing, healthgiving, and delightful, and how much we use them in our cooking is the measure of our cookery to be amazing, healthgiving and delightful! So, herbs rock, and so do you, especially if you try out my recipe!
Shred 1/2 a cabbage, removing the center stalk.
Pour on 2 T.s of apple cider vinegar,
3-4 T.s of Spectrum Vegan Canola Mayo, low fat
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 T.s of minced fresh anise plant, leaving out the tough stalks.
Mix well, let sit overnight, and voila!
Well, maybe it is "The Herb Shall Be Thy Meat." That would be nice... Herbs do make it easy to be a vegetarian.
The blackberries, totally amazing, also an herb, mind you. So good for you. Now, I know lots of people who won't eat blackberries because the little seedlets in them get stuck in their teeth. Probably the little seedlets are really really good for us if we chew them up, but they are not a requirement of blackberry eating really (unless you're throwing handfuls down like I was a few minutes ago, out in the wild!) Well, I'm going to make some blackberry apple jam, and seed the blackberries as I squeeze them through a sieve with a spatula. The apple peels get thrown in too, to give the jelly some extra pectin, and they'll come out in the sieve too. A couple of teaspoons of lemon juice and 3/4 cup granulated fructose sugar, and we're off! I'll let you know how it turns out.
So, while I'm picking the blackberries, I'm going into this whole meditation on blackberries: Navigating the thorns to get the juicy fruit; The millions of red pretty unripe ones that need to grow older to be black and sweet; The droopy faded old ones that hang on the bush too long and just taste strange; The ones that are so ripe that they plummet to the ground when I shake the branch, disappearing through the leaves, a treat for the mice and squirrels I hear rustling in the underbrush... it's all good, all an adventure, as the berries get eaten, go through the animals system, and get dumped somewhere new and exciting, ready to germinate more luscious beautiful blackberries. And the blackberries in the high bushes save themselves for the tall animals, with delicate careful fingers carefully picking through thorns... I'm remembering getting 5 gallons of blackberries for a wedding present, making blackberry (bramble-berry)pies as a child from the berries at the back of our garden, making blackberry sauce over ice cream for all the friends and family having supper at our house after the wedding, summer barbeques, going fishing...
Oh, yeah, that's not my memory, that's some other cultural icon, I have actually never done... just watched. I can leave that one out! I'll let someone else catch the fresh caught salmon or trout...
As summer comes to an end, I'm thinking about what I'll miss about this California summer, and what I haven't yet done- what should I do for myself so I'm sated, before the autumn is upon us, and I leave to go to London. It's sounding like an end of summer Labor Day Picnic! Which I'm going to on Monday...
I am leaving for London very soon, with an offer on my house there, and loads of sorting through family memorabilia, artwork, stuff... Yes, there will be thorns, and some beauties will no doubt be dropped. My hands will look red and stained from the picking, no doubt, but it's not blood, just blackberries! And I'm going to enjoy the sweetness and the tartness, and then I'm going to come home and make jam!
Five years after my mother's passing, I've finally decided on a campaign to get my mother's works out in the world, and discovered my own work process as a professional consultant and facilitator, focus, intention, and passion.
I look to nature for my roadmaps, but create from intention a way through the thorns, carefully and delicately picking just the ripest fruits. Leaving the ones not ready or unable to contribute, grow, letting the soft plump ones fall into my hand, and not regretting that I cannot have every single one. Filling my cup almost to the brim, and bringing most of my pickings home. The resources and tools I need to cook this brew down, are here, at home, and I must return here to complete the jam I will gift to the world soon enough... The sunshine and the breeze, aroma of crushed blackberries on my fingers, it seduces me to stay, but returning home is where my roadmap takes me.
And to making jam!