I am on the road again but I promise to do better this week than last week. I am actually in McCormick through Thursday. S-i-l has a meeting out of town and daughter does not care to stay by herself yet. But I can work her as well as at home and I actually have a work appointment in Greenwood Thursday morning.
Once every blackberry season I make Blackberries & Dumplings. My Mama made this and it is about the only way I care for blackberries. We would pick for what seemed like hours to only get a gallon or two. I am not talking about tamed blackberries; I am talking about wild ones along fences on the farm. We always managed to get a few red bugs or chiggers along with the berries. I decided to look up red bugs and wish I had not. According to the Alabama Extension Service: 1) Chiggers, or “red bugs,” are not insects, they are the larval stage of mites, (Yuck!), 2) Chiggers have six legs, are less than 1⁄50 inch long, and are a red-orange color, 3) People are “accidental” hosts. Chiggers that attach to humans usually die within 24 to 72 hours because the human immune reaction to a bite prevents the chigger from obtaining adequate nourishment. If you have ever had red bugs, it seems they do quite well on us “human host.”
I pulled out the recipe last night and it always makes me smile. Everyone has a recipe that is written on a scrap of paper and has some “unidentified” spills on it. Of course there are no actual measurements either, mostly suggestions.
Blackberry & Dumplings
I usually buy 2 quart containers of blackberries. We always serve this with a bit of cream poured over individual servings. I said I made this once a year.
2 quarts fresh blackberries, washed
Add enough water to be about 2-3 inch over blackberries and enough sugar to sweeten. I always have to taste as they are cooking to know what enough sugar is. Cook until blackberries are tender.
We like a lot of dumplings you may prefer less.
Mix 1½ cup all-purpose flour with 1½ tsp baking powder. Pour 1 cup of milk but begin by pouring ¾ of it into flour and mix will with a fork, add milk until the dough is “loose” but not runny. Bring blackberries to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, dip spoon into broth, then into dough and drop dumplings by teaspoon into broth. The dumplings will swell as they cook, so don’t add too many at once. Let the dumplings cook about 5 minutes, then serve.
138 days and 22.22 lbs till Disney Food and Wine