Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cobblers, critters and rose rustling

The first cobbler of 2009 has been baked and consumed! It was made from the wild trailing blackberries, aka dewberries. The dewberries produce in the time between the strawberries and the "tame" blackberries. The upright (not trailing) wild blackberries are also producing, but they are... ummmm.... less than desirable. We have dubbed them vomitberries, if that gives you an idea of their flavor.

Dewberry cobbler

The "tame" blackberries are absolutely loaded with green berries, just beginning to turn pink. I use quotes around tame because for the most part they are huge plants covered with wicked thorns and they send up baby plants in every direction, 12+ feet away from the mother plants. Some of them are also sending out more blooms. I'm not sure if these will make berries, since they are so late, but you won't hear me complain if they do.

Chickasaw blackberry bloom

The raspberries are also covered in baby berries. The raspberries are interesting because they produce twice on each cane. Here in Texas they produce on the tips of the new canes in the fall, then again the following spring lower on the canes (the tip is dead by then). My understanding is that up north the canes don't produce in the fall on the first year, but instead produce twice in the second year - tips of the canes in the spring, followed by the lower branch berries in the fall. Either way we get two harvests of raspberries a year and that is a very good thing.

Baby raspberries

Once again we are sharing the stuga with a wide assortment of lizards, skinks, snakes and frogs. We have many green anoles, including this guy, who guards the water hose. He does not approve of my use of the hose, as evidenced by his liberal use of the stink-eye.

Green anole

This little guy was hiding in my compost container (aka, plastic Folgers coffee can) when I brought it in. When I set the container on the counter, he jumped out and it was an exciting few minutes while I battled Lucy and Daisy for his capture. Fortunately for the frog, I won the battle and he regained his freedom.

Green tree frog

I have been wanting to try rose rustling for a while, so I was happy when I noticed a rose growing from a mound of unkempt shrubs in front of an abandoned gas station. The rose had sent up large arching canes dripping with dark purplish/maroon flowers right through the center of the shrubs. I was so excited to find one I could rustle, that I planned for a week exactly when I would do it. Then when we got there, I chickened out at the last minute and Spork had to run over and do the clipping! He was very cool about it. I think he has a future in stealth crimes, as long as he doesn't have a plan that involves following whispered instructions.

Unknown purple/maroon rose "liberated" from the abandoned gas station

It is most likely Dr. Huey, which is commonly used as a root stock for grafted roses, but is also a pretty climbing rose in its own right. I won't know for sure until this one takes off (if the rooting is successful, that is).

Liberated rose in its fancy mouthwash bottle greenhouse

Finally, I received a surprise delivery of gardenia cuttings last night. Yay! I've been wanting to try gardenias and growing your own from cuttings or seeds is the most fun way. It's funny because the best part of gardening to me is fussing over the baby plants up to the point they really take off and grow on their own. Once they become part of the landscape, I'm pretty ho-hum on them and usually I have more babies in the queue or at least added to my list of plants to try.

Gardenia cuttings soon to be added to the nursery/plant ghetto


bigjohn756 said...

Why do announce a cobbler after it's consumed?!? We would much prefer to hear about it while we have a chance to evaluate it.

Kari said...

Oh. So should I not tell you about the one we had tonight? It had a pie-type crust instead of the shortcake crust the cobbler in the picture has. And I used a wee bit of homemade tangerine liqueur for the cooking liquid. Tonight's cobbler has also been consumed, though. Maybe I don't understand these rules... ;)

bigjohn756 said...

You guys eat too much. I suggest that you cut back a little through the Christian virtue of sharing with your friends and neighbors.

Here try this delicious sounding stuff:


Kari said...

I took your advice to heart, John, and approached the neighbors. Tom and Darlene said to tell you thanks. ;)

I'm not sure if I want Spork to see the bacon brownies. I've had several people tell me how nicely chocolate and bacon combine, but I can't quite wrap my mind around it.

bigjohn756 said...



I, too, can not imagine bacon and chocolate together. It doesn't even look good to me.

Spork In the Eye said...


So, John, just to be clear... if she were to make you a cobbler, would you want the dewberries or the vomit berries?