very blackberry

Diane Thompson's Blackberry & Vanilla Bean Compote

Holy blog backlog! This summer has been so full of exciting things to see and do, I've not been able to sit still long enough to write about any of it. For the last two weeks, I’ve been road-tripping to organic farms and community gardens, picking blackberries, meeting really interesting food enthusiasts of all shapes, colours and sizes, and cooking and eating fresh fare from all over the lower mainland. I hope summer never ends.

Last Sunday, my friend Peter and I went blackberry picking. I adore this activity. It is a time for quiet and calm. I lose myself in my thoughts, as I fill my containers with berries and my lungs with sweetly scented, fresh air. Surely, it must be a form of aromatherapy? When my picking is done, I am always excited to get home and decide what to create with the fruits of my labour.

This time, I decided to keep the berries stored in my fridge, to enjoy ‘in the raw’; on top of granola, piled in the centre of a half papaya, or whirled up in a frozen banana smoothie. Peter’s harvest was not in the best of shape, as he thought a plastic bag would be a suitable vessel for transporting freshly picked berries (hung from the handle bars of his bicycle). NOT! Necessity breeds invention….

Blackberry & Vanilla Bean Compote

3 cups fresh blackberries (even if they are a bit mushed)
1/3 cup white sugar (to taste)
½ vanilla bean, slit lengthwise

Put the berries and sugar in a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Scrape the centre from the vanilla bean half. Put the scrapings and the half bean in the berry mixture. Taste mixture, to decide if you would like to add more sugar. Let simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool. Serve warmed up on pancakes, French toast, ice cream, or use it as you would a jam. Store in fridge.

1 comment:

groovy said...

Which Blackberry picking Peter are you talking about? The shorts and scandals become one with the blackberry bush Peter, or the ironed and pressed white shirt blackberry picking Peter. Either way. Good times.