Doug and Jose have a yearly ritual of picking wild blackberries. They pick enough for pies, jam, and some for best friends, as well. Doug is the pro and leads the pack. His banner year was 57 quarts when the berries cooperated. Doug is washing his pick while Norma is picking thorns out of her husband’s arms.
Grandson Stewart picked for the first time this year, as well has my son Ken, who hasn’t lived in the county since his last year of high school.
Ken showed his pick.
And his scars. Doug decided Ken deserved his berry picking medal.
They picked three huge thorns out of his head, too. (Mom’s hint: WEAR LONG PANTS, LONG SLEEVES AND A HAT.)
Antony said, I picked some of those, too. He has the stains on his shirt to prove it. He picked into small containers and dumped into the bigger bowls. He is only six but likes to be like the big guys.
Everyone went to the flume to cool off after picking. Ken’s legs got rinsed and cooled.
Norma, who has never picked before, decided this was the year. Abby fell asleep in the car after a short dunk in the flume. She’s only four.
Everyone snacked and listened to berry tales of derring-do. Stewart is a skeptic.
Laurie and Stewart played Cribbage, and Stewart beat his mom. Mason claims he doesn’t play because he always wins and it’s boring. (The challenge has been hurtled, Mason.)
I can’t figure out why Doug likes to barbeque in the heat. Laurie brought a Mexican coleslaw with black beans, peppers and fresh corn. Norma brought Enchiladas that we could warm in the microwave. The chicken and ribs were delish along with some marinated carnitas Norma brought, just for us to taste.
The guys went out for a second round of picking in the late afternoon when it had cooled a bit. Norma and I stayed inside. She brought me two big Aloe Vera plants and potted them and arranged them in my greenhouse. When Doug was seriously burned, about fifteen years ago, he was able to avoid skin grafts by squeezing fresh aloe vera juice on his burns. When his partner bought the aloe vera salve in a tube, it didn’t have the same effect. It was a long, painful experience. He couldn’t wear a shoe on his foot and he was out of work for nine months. It ended well because of aloe vera. Norma claims she peels it into thin filets and puts it in a blender with milk and other fruits and it retards pain. She has a neuropathy in her foot that is very painful.
I’m looking forward to trying her smoothie idea.