About a month ago, we were thrilled to discover wild blackberry bushes growing in the ditch near the garden. At the time, we didn’t know if they were blackberries, raspberries or something else. As they ripened, we realized they were blackberries. YES! Even though I now know what they are, they will always be ditch berries to me.
We picked all of the ripe berries, which only amounted to a good handful. I should say “shirt full” as that is what we used as our collection basket. You know how you grab the bottom of your shirt and curl it up slightly to form a tiny pouch?
Most of the berries were mid-size to tiny… nothing like freakishly plump, robust commercial berries, though just as tasty. Oh, and the thorns! I was told by my berry picking partner that I pick them too fast and that if I took my time, the thorns wouldn’t shred my flesh. Oh.
We ate a few berries as we picked, of course. The rest of our haul barely covered the bottom of a small cereal bowl. What to do with all of the berries?! Ha! Oh sure, we could have eaten them as is, but I wanted to make something special. Since we didn’t have enough for a cobbler or a pie, I made a quick and easy sauce.
Here’s my secret Ditch Berry Sauce recipe:
Toss the berries in as pan. Add a tablespoon or so of sugar and a tablespoon or so of brandy. The brandy isn’t necessary, but I saw it in several blackberry sauce recipes and used it. Bring the mixture to a boil on the stove. Lower the heat and let it simmer until it reduces and thickens slightly. Stir it regularly and break up a few of the berries to release the juices and pulp… or don’t. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. The main thing is to heat the sugar and berry mixture until it becomes a light syrup. Let the sauce cool so as not to burn your lips, your tongue, the roof of your mouth, your esophagus, or anything else along your digestive path. Then, before the sauce cools completely, pour it over a giant scoop or two of ice cream. Devour!
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