Dewberry Bombs

I was reading Homesick Texan’s post on dewberries and luscious cobbler. She said “picking dewberries is a wonderful warm-day pastime. When I was young, my friends and I would march out to the wilder parts of my suburban Houston neighborhood—such as the bayou, vacant lots or the rough patch next to the golf course—and brave water moccasins, thorns and poison ivy to score some of these black orbs, warm from the sun and ready to pop in your mouth.” She’s absolutely right and I am beginning to think that we might have lived inthe same Houston neighborhood at around the same time (ish). I love dewberries and I can even put up with having to go through the dental floss event from hell after my profligate consumption. But there is one thing that I have learned to hate about dewberries: birds.

As much as people love dewberries, birds love them more. Black birds, mockingbirds, sparrows, titmice, cardinals, grackles, finches, warblers… They slurp them down with more glee than people. And they have the benefit of an aerial vantage, so they can get *more* dewberries than people. And then they crap. Some would think that pigeon crap is a burden. I’ll swap. For a good month in SouthEast Texas all the bird crap is purple. Not lavender, but that sickening yoghurt purple. And it’s everywhere. On your car, the sidewalk, the mailbox, the porch… Great splats and piles of purple poop. And if you do not wash it off immediately, it begins to assume the destructive/corrosive/quantum properties of red matter (go see the new Star Trek movie). My oldest daughter has actually been splatted on the forehead by a sated black bird as she tried to get into the family car. (Note: the shrieks of a 17 year old after said event can be auditorily challenging.) Purple poop *almost* makes me want to give up blackberries. But not quite. Especially since I’ll be making Homesick Texan’s cobbler recipe tonight…

Dewberry Cobbler
Crust ingredients:
1/2 stick of butter (2 oz.)
1 cup of flour (6 oz.)
1/2 cup sugar (3 oz.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling ingredients:
4 cups dewberries or blackberries
1/2 cup sugar (3 oz.)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the rinsed berries in a large cast-iron skillet or nine-inch round cake pan, and toss the berries with the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon juice. Let them macerate for 20 minutes. To make the crust, melt the butter on low in a pan, and then add the other ingredients. Dough will be slightly sticky, moist yet pliable. Pat out the dough and place it over the berries. Bake 40 minutes or until light brown and bubbling.


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