Blackberry Slump

blackberries-5

 

Blackberry Time

Every year about this time, here in southern British Columbia, the push is on to pick blackberries. Blackberries are a perennial and a relative of the raspberry. This plant grows wild along side our roads and in sunnier parts along the edges of fields and forests. They also bramble meaning they have a long vine that travels up fences and over other vegetation with very sharp thorns.

Make sure you cover yourself well if going picking. I saw one woman with a neat idea for a hands free bucket for picking berries.  She had an old belt and had cut the top off a milk jug leaving the handle which she looped through the belt. This allows for hands free picking.

blueberrypicking590

 

Blackberry Slump

blackberry-slump-horiz-b-1600-600x406

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

Berries:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted and drained) blackberries
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries and how sweet you would like your slump to be)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Whipping cream or vanilla ice cream for topping

METHOD

1. Make the dumplings: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your clean hands, cut the butter into the flour until the flour resembles a coarse meal.

Add the milk all at once and stir until the flour is just moistened. Handling the dough as little as possible, form into a ball. Set aside.

2. Heat berries with sugar, cinnamon, lemon, water until boiling: In a 2-qt saucepan, add the berries, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Heat until boiling, stirring a few times so that the berries are well coated with the sauce.

3. Add chunks of dumpling dough: Once the berry mixture is boiling, tear off spoonful chunks from the dough ball and drop onto the fruit around the edges of the pot. You should have enough dough for 6 dumplings.

4. Cover and simmer: Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, without peeking at the dumplings.

Place dumplings in serving bowls and top with berries. Serve with cream or ice cream. Serve hot or chilled.

** You can also interchange berries. Strawberries, blueberries.

Want to know more about blackberries?
The blackberry
Advertisements

A River Runs Through It – The Mighty Fraser River.

A River Runs Through It – The Mighty Fraser River.

Image

The Fraser River, from the grounds of Westminster Abbey, above Hatzic in Mission, British Columbia, looking upstream

It’s spring run-off time here in British Columbia and the largest river is running at capacity.  Everyone is waiting with baited breath to see if it will jump the banks.  The Fraser has had some serious problems in the past and has caused damage to the communities it runs through.  Get the sand bags going.

Image

Sand Bags – Flooding in Fraser Valley – 1948 flooding

Most of the communities have taken precautions over the years by building dikes along the river bank since the terrible flood in 1948 when the river overflowed its banks and caused wide spread damage in every community along the river.

 The Fraser River drains a 85,ooo sq mile area in British Columbia. The source of the Fraser is Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains.  The river is named after the explorer and fur trader Simon Fraser.  Travelling west, then south, the river travels past the communities it serves and gathers other rivers the further south it goes. To name a few:  Chilcotin River, Nechako River, Bridge River, Seton Rivers Thompson River and the Pitt River in Port Coquitlam/Maple Ridge. These are only a few of the creeks and rivers that gather in the Fraser River waters. The Fraser River travels through the cities and towns of  Williams Lake, Prince George, Lillooet, and Lytton down through the Fraser Canyon and then the Fraser Valley through Hope, Chilliwack, Mission, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Langley, Surrey, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and finally to Richmond and Vancouver where it flows into the Strait of Georgia between the mainland and Vancouver Island.

 This River has a rich history from Gold rush days, Native fisheries and transportation.  Floating log booms to the mills is a old tradition on the river. The Fraser widens and narrows and is wild in some places and can have rapids and is dangerous. There are brave people who traverse these rapids and make a living from the river. The Salmon reigns supreme during the big salmon spawning runs.  Fishing  is restricted to openings to keep salmon population high. Sport fishing for Sturgeon and Salmon along the river are popular past times. Fishing is mostly catch and release unless there is a fishery opening.

Baked Salmon

408631_MEDIUM

Baked Salmon

Salmon Stuffing

1-2 lb      whole Salmon-cleaned, head and tail removed.
300 g       bread crumbs
1           bunch parsley finely chopped
2           lemons 1 for zest and 1 garnish
            salt & pepper to taste
1/4         butter or margarine
            Foil 
            water to moisten bread crumbs, 
            save bit of parsley for garnish

In a bowl place bread crumbs,  lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper, and butter.  Mix by hand until well distributed through out the bread crumbs.  Depending on how moist the crumbs are add a tablespoon of water and mix again by hand and repeat until stuffing is moist and holds lightly together.  Stuff inside of salmon belly and wrap in foil.  You can skewer together or sew together salmon belly once stuffing is inserted.  Bake at 350 F for 45 min to 1 hr depending on size of salmon. This can be done in the middle of the oven or on the BBQ placing Salmon on top shelf of BBQ.  Salmon should be flaky and moist when done.  Place on platter and garnish with lemon slices and parsley. ~ENJOY!