Childhood Reflections

How many times a day does something come to your thoughts bringing a memory from childhood? Often it seems like just yesterday that an event occurred and so often brings delight and humor to mind. I share some of my memories in this writing.

Hot summer days were perfect for picking blackberries. We had a number of good places to pick wild blackberries and my siblings and I would get up early in the cool of the morning, get our plastic pails, get dressed in long pants and long-sleeved shirts and head out for a walk (sometimes a mile or more). We would be very careful where we walked at first (snakes were around) and as we got into full swing of picking would forget about the snakes. That would usually be when someone would yell snake and nerves were on edge again. At any rate, several hours later we would head home with pails full of luscious, sweet berries, scratches from briars, sometimes chiggers and hot and tired. By this time, the heat of the summer day and high humidity sent us looking for a shade tree in the yard (after getting some cool well water and a fresh from garden tomato sandwich).

The next morning, I am ready to start cooking. I am only about 10 at this time but being the 2nd oldest child and having 8 younger brothers, I did lots of cooking (in large quantities). I usually made a huge blackberry roll--simple recipe. I made a big recipe of biscuit dough with little added sugar and rolled it out on kitchen table. A big quantity of blackberries were poured on the dough, sprinkled sugar on berries and put on pats of butter. With help, we rolled the dough and with each taking an end of the roll, we lifted it into a huge roasting pan. Then hot water was added to make a delicious sauce. Baked about 30-45 minutes. Spooned roll into dessert dishes and covered with sauce from pan--delicious hot or cold and with all those boys, it disappeared quickly.

Sometimes I made blackberry jam or jelly. Making jelly was such a mess straining out the seeds so I would rather make jam. Daddy liked the jelly better as the blackberry seeds wouldn't get between his teeth, etc. Either one was so good on hot biscuits.

shared by Pat Armstrong

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