Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Three days ago, I was walking in an area that I thought was nothing more than overgrown weeds and bushes. In fact, we'd been dumping manure in that area for the past two years. Then something red caught my eye only a few feet from the ground -- then something black and shiny. I squealed, "Oh!" as I thought I had discovered wild raspberries. As I looked for the source of the berries though, I discovered they were growing on a rather short tree that had low-hanging branches. I called Mike over to take a look at my discovery. He quickly popped a berry into his mouth and said, "It's not sweet." That surprised me, so I plucked a berry off its branch and popped it into my mouth and quickly came to the conclusion that either he had a different definition of sweet or he had picked a bad berry. It was delicious -- and unlike anything I had ever tasted. After a bit of research, I learned that it was a mulberry tree. Mike was disappointed that the song about the mulberry bush had such a glaring error in it.
The tree sits in a trench that goes from the east pasture to the pond. We doubt that it's a natural trench. I suppose it could have been a creek at some point in the past, but it just starts in the middle of nothing, so I don't know where the water source would have come from. Anyway, we mowed around the tree so that we could easily get to it for picking, although there is this issue of the trench that is a foot or two deep, where we can't mow, and if we were to step down in there, we wouldn't be able to reach the branches, so that does make picking berries a bit of a challenge. Still, I was able to pick more than a cup of berries two days ago, and this morning there are lots more ripe ones!
Today we had mulberry muffins for breakfast. I used my chocolate chip muffin recipe and replaced the chocolate chips with mulberries. I also used all white sugar, rather than half brown sugar. It made a perfect breakfast muffin because it wasn't overly sweet. I always feel kind of guilty for eating chocolate chip muffins for breakfast because they taste more like a snack than a food that is meant to get you moving in the morning.
Gooseberries won't be ripe for another month, and then we'll be eating gooseberry muffins for breakfast. I love the idea of eating wild foods, because they are organic and free!