Sunday, July 31, 2016

And God created Blackberries!

                               And God Created Blackberries

Yes I am Southern, yes I enjoy creating all types of goodies that I think my friends and family would enjoy. In other words I can. Yes can, you know put food in jars so that we all can eat the goodness of summer all winter long.
Well it seems that I have created another goody that has left an impression on my brother. Now this is
a man that know what he wants. This is a man that is very lovable but yet you have days that you just want to choke him! Yes He is a Younger Brother! But this is a man that just doesn't hand out pats on the back often. I got a HUGE pat on the back today.

Below is his words and my pat on the back.....Love ya little brother and yes another batch will be cooking later today.

 I am a southern boy. Anybody that knows me knows that, Southern to the core. What makes me a southern boy you ask? The list is long but anyone that has a conversation with me can hear the south in my accent but it goes deeper than that. It’s an easy going attitude, not knowing a stranger, the quick smile, the willingness to help anyone, including strangers, the list goes on. That being said one of the biggest thing that makes one a southerner is the food. We eat grits for breakfast, slaw on hotdogs and hamburgers and of course tomato sandwiches. Again the list can go on and on. There is the seasonal fare, tomatoes of course, as mentioned before, the Silver Queen corn, cantaloupes, okra and my personal favorite, blackberries. 
Blackberries!! I personally believe God put blackberries on earth to ease the pain of chiggers, mosquitoes and ticks as well as the encounter with the occasional black snake. In the wild they grow on the edges of fields and they grow thick, impassable, and thick, intertwined thorny patches that have no mercy on the flesh of your arms as you pick these delectable berries. God, being humorous as God is, places the most appealing and juicy berries deep into the blackberry patch, just out of reach. Only the ones with long arms or the willingness to shed a bit of blood will get to them. 
One of my favorite things from the blackberries was mom’s blackberry cobbler. My running in the woods all year long I knew where the best blackberry patches were, marked them in my mind, and when it was time to harvest off I would go with a five gallon bucket. Upon my return mom would always make me a blackberry cobbler. Man that stuff was good!! The cobbler dough would go into a buttered dish, the berry concoction would follow and as it cooked the dough would bubble up giving it the golden brown marbled crust that is paramount for a proper southern cobbler.
Now the second best thing that comes from blackberries is the Blackberry Jam, Jelly and Preserves. I group them all together as they all go on my toast that I eat with my scrambled eggs, bacon and of course grits. It’s the flavor I look for and ask for at restaurants and it is the flavor that I will always have at my house. That being said, for the first time in my 54 years of living in the south, I have tasted something that although I can’t say would topple mom’s cobbler from the top of my list, it is so very close I could possibly call it a tie. 
Blackberry/Bourbon Jam! Oh my lawd! People, I am talking straight up manna from heaven here! I don’t know whose brilliance is credited with the idea of combining these two ingredients into a jam but Damn! I do know however who’s expertise in recreating this marvelous delectable recipe is and that is my sister, Elaine Jackson. For those that know me and my sisters and my brother know that we give each other a hard time. It’s nothing but love but a hard time it is, about everything. So it is rare that we would publicly give any kind of credit to each other. We wouldn’t want the others heads to get any larger! That being said Elaine just moved up a couple notches with this brother. That’s how good that blackberry bourbon jam is. So Elaine Jackson, Well done! Well done indeed!