Blackberries

Ow, ow, ow…I’m sitting here trying to write this little piece on my blackberry foraging experience but this splinter in my right pinkie is not helping. I cannot seem to get it out. Ouch. The experience of being able to forage for berries within an urban setting is such a new one for me. I never grew up plucking berries, we had other fruit in Singapore but most are high on trees and there was never such a prolific harvest.

I still am not sure if the bounty of berries is worth some of these wounds. The logical side of me disagrees with my instinctive gatherer self, I guess.

One thing I noticed while picking the berries was the ripe aroma of the fruit. As I picked, it was as if the summer sunshine was further ripening these lovelies. It was subtle but it had set the wheels turning in my head, about what I should make with them.

Another thing I discovered while foraging is that I am quite a determined person. It is a possible coincidence that it happened to be dinner time and I was running on empty but those thorny branches were not going to keep me away from my dessert possibilities. I used broken sticks to tug at the fruit-laden branches. It was a good trick but most of the time, I found myself just gritting my teeth as I grabbed at the branches with my bare hands. I didn’t care how those thorns would get me, I was focused on the fruit. It made me think about how my ancestors approached this foraging experience. Hunger is a strong impetus that has endured through the centuries.

So today, I present you the result of my blackberry foraging experience – a blackberry-pineapple dump cake.

A very simple way to create a quick dessert of summer fruit. This recipe works well with peaches, blueberries, strawberries, cherries and nectarines. Preheat your oven to 350 deg F. Spray a 13 by 9″ baking pan with nonstick spray. Layer the bottom with a 20oz can of crushed pineapples (juice and all) and 2 cups of blackberries. Then sprinkle yellow cake mix evenly over the fruit. After that, sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar (packed) evenly. Lastly, drizzle 1/2 cup of melted butter over this. Bake for about 45 minutes. Try to get the melted butter drizzle as evenly as possible so that you won’t end up with dry bits of cake mix.

Delicious on its own, with some whipped cream or perhaps vanilla bean ice cream.

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