Summer has passed so quickly! It is interesting how vigorously I become nostalgic about times like these when in reality we were given bad rows and I vaguely remember a lot of whining. Perhaps it was because we love each other and we were together for better or for worse in a period of great change and opportunity. Or perhaps it is because in rural Iowa, my Grandmother had a berry patch that I used to spend my childhood days in.
Summer is here with its warm happy days! The kids are embracing summer vacation with a gusto! Staying up late, sleeping in late, running around outside like wild hooligans, with banged up knees and insect bites to prove it. Today the favorite past time was to turn themselves into human boxing bags. One of them would don their dad’s shirt, stuff a big fluffy pillow inside and the other would run at him, throwing punches and practically snorting with laughter! They chased each other in circles in the yard, in and around my raised garden beds where the tomatoes are flowering and the basil has finally pushed above ground and is joining the cilantro and peppers.
It’s a season of doing things together. Granted, it does distract me when I sit down to write, not to mention that I share the computer with three boys who can’t play enough Minecraft! Needless to say, some things are being pushed aside for the moment so that we can pick strawberries, plant sweet corn or go to the library. …or teach my 13 year old to clean windows (my idea, not his). …or go to garage sales. …or eat a popsicles on the deck. …or visit the Mulberry Tree. That is a frequent event these days. Today when we were out picking, a gentleman stopped his car and asked if they can be eaten. It made me wonder how many other people may be seeing these plump purple berries on trees yet not know what to do with them. Here is what I did with them today and it made for a very happy family!
- 4 cups mulberries, gently rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter or lard
- 1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 cup milk
Combine the water, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook until thickened and clear. Add the mulberries and cook for 1 minute,stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Remove from heat and pour into a 9×9″ baking dish.
For the biscuit topping, combine the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles small crumbs. Add the yogurt and milk, mixing gently just until moistened. Drop by spoonfuls on top of the fruit mixture. Sprinkle with a bit of additional sugar. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes.
Note – I just throw the berries in, stem and all, as they are edible. If you want to remove the stems, I would suggest clipping them with a kitchen scissors, as it is difficult to pull them off unless they are frozen.