Sunday, July 29, 2012

Impromptu Wildcrafting

During my Sunday afternoon run at the Albany Bulb, I happily noticed that the wild blackberries along the path were ready for someone to come along and enjoy their short-lived glory.  I wasn't quite prepared and so had to collect my bounty in the only thing I had on hand - two coconut water aluminum cans.   The Bulb used to be a landfill for construction debris decades ago but now it's a natural habitat shared by shore birds,  graffiti artists,  and homeless people alike.  The Bulb also has the craziest blackberry patches I have seen in my life.   Every summer brings about a mega-blackberry bonanza as far as the eye can see, but sadly a great part of the yearly harvest simply rots on the bush.

I prefer the extremely over-ripe berries that have started fermenting-  it's the subtle sweet sour flavor I relish.  Vendors normally don't sell them so ripe so wildcrafting is an ideal option.   I went deep into the bramble to find what I like and predictably, I got my shanks all scratched up.  As somebody from Oregon told me, you have no right eating blackberries if you mind getting scratched.

This morning I had 4 different shous. I was going to write a Lao Cha Tou Death Match post but I'll save it for later to properly extract this golden source material for some real humor.  Two of the Lao Cha Tous were so unexpectedly disgusting, I spat them out.  I had gotten used to drinking pretty good shous and hence forgot that I need to sip cautiously when in doubt.  The Lao Cha Tou brick which I enjoyed most had a thick black lady's hair in it. Are hairnets only ever employed at squeaky clean Haiwan? But really, you have no right drinking shu if you mind finding such bits in your brick.

While I was walking back to my car, I saw an elderly gentlemen bend over to collect a few berries at shin level near the park entrance.  I almost stopped and gave him Berry Picking 101 lecture.  Sir- aim high. This is a dog park after all!

(I see Pulling Radishes has a lovely Blackberry Shou Jelly recipe which appears to be a love of labor.)

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