[media-credit id=1 align=”alignright” width=”460″][/media-credit]By Eileen Majors

It is once again that favored month of the year for chefs who enjoy the culinary experience of fresh blackberries, hand picked mountain style. The flavor is enormous, the effort sometimes frustrating. Though I have tried many ways to stay clear of the thorns, the truth is berry-stained hands and clothing, along with a few thorns to the fingers, are just part of the deal. Worth it?… You might not think so and I would likely agree with you at first notion but in reality I try to venture out every year just because there is really, in my opinion, nothing better than warm berry pie and smooth vanilla ice cream.

To find fresh blackberries, look along the springs, rivers and creekbeds. I love going down into Seneca, a little mining town near Lake Almanor. Often you will see berry bushes alongside the road. Keep your eyes peeled and look for the dark purple berries. The red ones are not ripe yet. You can also contact a local chamber of commerce for hot spots. Right after the trip, I make berry pie, but with all the extra berries, I end up trying new recipes. I hope you like this one. To find our past recipes for blackberries including a blackberry smoothie, blackberry muffins, blackberry cream cheese croissants and of course my favorite, blackberry pie, visit us at mountainvalleyliving.com and search recipes.

Note: Freeze berries on a single layer on cookie sheets then move frozen to bags for easy, one-at-a-time access later.