Friday, June 4, 2010

We Be Jammin’

Red Blackberries

It’s berry pickin’ time in the south. On my trip to New Orleans to visit Holly, we picked blackberries. Tons and tons of them…the only problem was reaching them as they grew on a tall chain link fence which surrounds one of the US Coast Guard stations. So we took a small step ladder and Holly did the honors of climbing and pickin’. Sorry there are no pictures of this event because you would have died laughing at the site of us. Adorned in a scrappy t-shirt, blue jean shorts, pink rubber boots (see photo on my side bar of “Run-Away-Housewife) and latex gloves, we were a pretty funny crew of pickers. Now as you are smart enough to figure out, the latex gloves did not last long because blackberries grow on a thorny vine. But they did keep the purple stains to a minimum on our fingers.
With each move down along the fence the berries got bigger and bigger! We felt like we had struck gold…until I saw the snakes!!  Yes I had walked right past them and made them scurry away into the fence line across where I had just walked. The guys at the CG station said they were most likely cotton mouth moccasins, a very deadly snake. Moccasins live near and in water and we could see the Mississippi River levee not far down the road ahead of us. I still shiver each time I think about them and thank God that I did not step on one of them… So this pretty much ended our picking of the berries and we had a full bucket anyway.
Blackberry Pickings
 

Now to make the blackberry jam…

We washed and cooked the berries down to a mush
so that we could sieve out the small crunchy seeds.
This was the big job and rather boring too, but makes for a more delicious jam.

All said and done, we had 22 jars of jam which we split 50/50. It was beautiful.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Our other project was to finish up the final work on Holly’s junk made hutch/buffet, she and Richard assembled from a kitchen table she had found at the dump on the base. Now when I say dump…I mean it is a place with 2 huge dumpsters and also a place where military families put still good items outside the dumpsters that they do not wish to carry with them on their next move, mostly due to load limits on the moving vans. Holly grabbed up this nice table which Richard cut in half and removed 18” down the center to make it narrower. They slapped it back together and added the top center shelf, which Holly bought years ago at an auction, and added the side shelves and spindles.
After much sanding, filling, priming, and more sanding, we began the painting…

but did not finish before I had to come home to Alabama. Don’t you just love the soft color? It is called Bayfront Palm by Dutch Boy…a mark down at WalMart; yep she got a great price on a whole gallon. It is going to be beautiful in her dining room.

Got a busy week next week, VBS…Vacation Bible School at our church all week. Yours truly is doing the crafts with 3, 4, and 5 year olds.
WoooHooo...gonna be fun, fun.

More to come, so stay tuned.

Have a blessed weekend my friends!

27 comments:

Leann said...

Oh my, yes there are always snake near blackberry patches. Glad that all is well.

Love the makeover server - the color is wonderful.

Leann

Char said...

so glad the snakes didn't get you either! everything looks so great - i agree about the paint color.

hope you have a beautiful weekend.

Michelle said...

Love the boots, blackberries, and hutch. I feel the need to make some blackberry jam. Yummy!

Bev said...

so where's my jar??!!! LOL! looks luscious! and next week's VBS...love the age group and what great fun, i loved doing VBS when my kids were little...blessings will be abundant!
have a blast!!
xo

Erin @ I Heart New England said...

Mmm... the jam looks delicious. And the hutch/buffet is absolutely gorgeous!! How I'd love one of those!

Simple Southern Happiness said...

Thank you for your visit and sweet comments for my father. I hope you will come again, we can sit on the porch, have a tall glass of tea or a latte and talk about the lord and what a talent he had given you. I am always amazed with folks who see something in someone's else trash. And that table made into a hutch is outstanding! Totally floored; to take a table and think to cut it down. Truly gifted.

Hope you have a blessed day.

Traci said...

What a unique and beautiful hutch! Love the color - what a fab find.
You'll have me watching out for snakes when we go pickin!
Sounds like you all pack in as much as possible when you get together!
Have fun next week!

Traci said...

Cora, I just browsed your flickr photostream! What a beautiful and serene collection! You definitely have discovered your style and I love it!

Anonymous said...

Ummmm....don't forget about your friend! That jam looks good. Glad you and Holly (and Richard too) had fun. Wish I had been there, except with the snakes. It get goose bumps just thinking about it!
Becky

Sares said...

Oh yummy! I have not picked blackberries for years! I do remember it can be quite dangerous! However there were no snakes, thank goodness.
Love your daughters shelf, it's very inventive and the color she chose is beautiful. Have a great weekend and eat some of that jam on toast for me!

the country cook said...

I love that piece of furniture! And what a beautiful color... - www.delightfulcountrycookin.com

Southern Cinderella said...

I'm so glad you didn't get bitten by those snakes! Love the paint color she chose, so pretty! Have fun teaching VBS next week!!

Sewn With Grace said...

The snake story made ME jump and I wasn't even there! The jam looks delicious and I always love a furniture transformation! Hope VBS goes well!

Christina said...

save me a jar! : ) i love the paint color.
xo

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

Cora...SNAKES! EEEKKK! You need to venture out to the Pacific Northwest where blackberries grow everywhere without a SSSnake in site (when it's sunny).
I'm so sad...the rain has destroyed all my strawberries.
They didn't get enough sun to sweeten them up along with our lil cherry tree. Raspberries are lookin' a little sketchy too.
Your jam looks heavenly. I'd be the first one in line when you popped open one of those jars.

Sweet wishes,
Sara

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

Cora...SNAKES! EEEKKK! You need to venture out to the Pacific Northwest where blackberries grow everywhere without a SSSnake in site (when it's sunny).
I'm so sad...the rain has destroyed all my strawberries.
They didn't get enough sun to sweeten them up along with our lil cherry tree. Raspberries are lookin' a little sketchy too.
Your jam looks heavenly. I'd be the first one in line when you popped open one of those jars.

Sweet wishes,
Sara

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

P.S.I didn't mean to imply snakes come out when it's not sunny. I meant the berries grow rampant when we (finally)get sun.
I wouldn't want to stir you wrong, especially when it comes to snakes and a crop of berries.

SW,
Sara

Julie Harward said...

I love your shelves...and the jam is so beautiful...how fun to make it! Come say hi :D

Manda said...

Wow... wish I could have joined the jam making process. Delicious.
The shelf... GORGEOUS!
Such a creative soul you are!
xo

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

I absolutely love blackberries. One taste can just transport me back to my Gramma's kitchen. Loved your pictures; they make me want to pick and eat. Your photography is wonderful!

GWENDOLYN said...

Yikes!! snakes and deadly ones at that. so glad you made it out of there , maybe the pink rubber boots detered them:) I would think rubber would be hard for them to bite through. the berries and the jam look wonderful. You do such a great job with your photos.
Blessings:)
Gwen

Gooseberry Patch said...

Hi Cora! We loved this post and your photos are beautiful as usual...we linked over from today's post as well. :)

abi said...

I have a surprise for you here
http://abis-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com/2010/06/award-time.html

Kamana said...

what gorgeous jam!

Southern Cinderella said...

Check my blog, there's a little love over there for you :)

Angie Berry said...

Haha! I'm sure you are adorable in those pink rubber boots! I grew up with blackberry bushes on our land. I didn't eat them, but oddly enough... I enjoyed picking them. Yes, I remember the thorns, the stains and especially the snakes (only ours were copperheads!). Your berry pictures are so cute! Even though I still don't like them, these pictures make me want to eat one!

Wow! What a transformation they did on that table! That's awesome! I love how they made it. Even though I'm not into soft colors (hee hee), I do love this color! You will have to be sure and post another picture of it when she has it decorated! So much potential with this!!

Crafts with 3-5 years all week long?? I have much respect for you dear!

I'm so glad you were able to go and spend a week with Holly and Richard. That's awesome that you were able to spend time with her and make more wonderful memories! I'm looking forward to seeing more trip pictures!

melinda jayne said...

love the berry photos. very nice.