I was walking through the produce section of a local organic market when I spotted a sale on blackberries. Immediately my thoughts turned to the cobblers my grandfather used to make after an afternoon of picking blackberries on the side of the roads around Fort Worth.
In the 1950’s many of the narrow secondary roads around Fort
Worth were either dirt or crudely paved with asphalt. If dirt, then the road had mud holes deep enough to "bottom
out" a car. If paved, then the
road had potholes deep enough to “bottom out” a car. Either way, the roads were an experience unto themselves. Along the sides of any of these roads were
bar ditches often filled with weeds, junk, and snakes, but in many places were
wild blackberry vines. And it was to these
vines we would journey.
It was not unusual to fill every pot and bowl we owned with
wild blackberries on a single outing.
It was also not unusual to disturb rabbits, snakes, wild dogs, and a
skunk or two, making the adventure an adventure. We would always come home with enough blackberries to fill our
big chest freezer, and our arms would be a mess of scratches warranting half a
bottle of Mercurochrome or Iodine. Such
fun! And Papa would always make a
For years I tried to duplicate the taste of Papa’s cobblers,
but I didn't succeed. But I won't call
it a failure either. After all, I got
to eat a lot of blackberry cobbler. It
doesn’t get any better!