Did you say Seasonal Picking? Yup. September is almost here, which means it’s artichoke & blackberry season! Considered a pesky weed by many, blackberries grow wild here and are the most tenacious but not as tenacious as the deer. Driving around Ashland, you’re sure to nearly run over a dear and growing gardens here is entirely governed by ‘what the deer won’t eat.’ What don’t they like you might ask? They love roses, but hate lavender bushes, so you’ll notice everyone and their mother has a plethora of lavender in their front gardens. This makes your driving around quite nice as the smell of lavender is so lovely!
Back to the tenacious blackberry, which can be quite a task to pick, given the thorns in the bushes. Be careful as you drive along the Southern Oregon country roads as you will see cars stopped with children on the side of the road picking blackberries to their hearts delight! These Oregon children are seasoned blackberry pickers, so you might need to do a bit of reading up on the subject before you throw yourself into the task like I did. With blackened lips and hands, the local Oregon children collect as much as they can eat because they’re everywhere. I already have them popping up from under my house even after spending 4 hours digging them out! Did I mention they’re like a weed?
Blackberries are delicious fresh off the vine, or macerate them in sugar, pop some butter into your favorite dish and top with Creme Fraiche!
As for one of my favorite vegetables, artichokes are a task unto themselves. Here’s my favorite recipe for a way to make artichokes even more yummy!
- Steam artichokes in lightly boiling water for what seems like forever, being careful to add water as the pot needs it.
- To test if they’re ready, pull off a leave and eat it, if it comes off easily and doesn’t taste hard, then it’s ready.
Eat the artichokes with this delicious dip.
- Large lumps of your favorite mayonaise
- A big dose of dried dill weed to taste