My favorite things

Among my favorite things are pie, blackberries, and good friends. Imagine what happens when a good friend writes an article about blackberries and blackberry pie:

It?s August in the Pacific Northwest, and the ubiquitous brambles of Himalayan blackberry, Rubus armeniacus, are suddenly covered with ripe berries, a transformation which radically ?- hypocritically, even ?- alters our attitude toward them.

For ten-and-a-half months each year, these highly invasive blackberry bushes are Seattle?s enemy. They rank high on the list of things we love to hate, along with bad espresso, SUVs and that other kind of Bush.

It?s understandable. The bushes are thorny enough to draw blood, and they spread unrelentingly, colonizing empty lots, city parks, freeways, and even our own backyards. The problem is so bad that entrepreneurs have set up goat rental businesses ? blackberry canes are one of goats? favorite foods ? like Rent-a-Ruminant. I?m not making this up.

But in August and early September, everything changes. Those canes we cursed and dreamed of obliterating in dark, wet December now lure us out to collect mouthfuls and bucketfuls of complexly sweet berries. We?re captivated. It?s tempting to keep picking until you find the best berry, the huge one so ripe it nearly bursts with juice as you touch it.

Read the rest, and enjoy.


  1. #1 Bee
    August 26, 2008

    I think blackberries evolved in order to be spread specifically by humans – they can’t taste that good to us by accident.

  2. #2 James McCann
    August 26, 2008

    There are not as many ripe berries in our Seattle back yard as usual because of the lousy weather, but the few that are there are better than usual.
    Unless a bunch more ripen very soon we’ll only get enough for a couple of pies.

  3. #3 llewelly
    August 28, 2008

    The problem is so bad that entrepreneurs have set up goat rental businesses � blackberry canes are one of goats� favorite foods � like Rent-a-Ruminant. I�m not making this up.

    Years ago (1999), on my first trip through the beautiful Pacific Northwet, I saw lots of signs saying ‘Rent Goats To Eat Your Blackberries’. My friend and I laughed and laughed, but we agreed that it made sense.

  4. #4 Maria
    September 2, 2008

    Hey, thanks for the link! Her pie recipe is pretty standard but I think I’ve found a new blog…

New comments have been disabled.