Monday, May 10, 2010

50 Ways to Eat a Mulberry

There must be 50 ways to eat a mulberry...
make a jam Sam,
try it in tea Lee,
drink it as wine, B'ryn
how 'bout a vinaigrette...ummm Jet?

Okay, bear with my bad singing and botched oldies song, but I've had the song stuck in my head. I'm also looking for ideas on what to do with my latest find... tons of Mulberries!

About two blocks down from our house on our typical walk path is an empty home that has three huge mulberry trees in the front yard. Each year, we have to alter our walks to avoid the messy side walk for the month or so that the mulberries are ripe.

Even the street is stained with the purple mulberry juice. This year is different though, rather than avoiding it, the old house is the destination of our walks. Gardening is fun for me, cooking is fun for me, and eating is my favorite thing, so what could be better than free food from a tree that I didn't have to plant and I don't have to maintain? Jackpot!

Every night for the last several days, boy and I have been loading our gear into the wagon and walking down to the old house on the corner to pick mulberries. On Mother's day, I was able to con daddy and little girl into joining us to take some pictures of the process.

Mulberries are very delicate fruit with a shape similar to that of a blackberry, only smaller. They are rarely seen commerically because they are so fragile and explode with the slightest touch. Even the act of picking up a mulberry will stain your fingers. So hand picking is tedious and not really worth it, but there is an easy way to get lots of these little yummies.

I spread out an old sheet and use a hoe or other long object to whack the branches and knock down the berries into the sheet. Once most of the ripe berries are cleared from that branch, we relocate the sheet and repeat the process.

Every few branches, I carefully gather up the edges of the sheet and dump the berries into my bucket.

Boy and I are able to gather about 2 pounds of berries in less than 20 minutes each night.

Well, we bring home 2lbs of berries, we harvest a lot more than that but they somehow disappear... somewhere around a happy purple-faced little boy.

With Daddy there to help, we were able to gather six pounds of mulberries! Girl 'helps' by remaining contained in the wagon and shouting at brother to feed her berries.

So there must be 50 ways to eat a mulberry, I just have not found them all yet. Stay tuned for my recipes and uses for mulberries.. other than shoving delicious handfuls of them into your mouth.


1 comment:

  1. JUUUUUICE! Juice 'em up and drink it down mixed with water or seltzer. I don't even add sugar anymore. The juice is SO GOOD, although would be dangerous in the hands of small children. Staining, you know.

    I also made mulberry liqueur one year, which is crushed mulberries steeped in brandy with sugar added. I use it to make cocktails. I have the recipe for that if you want it.

    I've never made it, but I bet mulberry jelly would be awesome. I think the pectin packages have a recipe for "other" berries or something. Or you could just use the recipe for raspberries.

    In addition, I once made a mulberry mousse (like ice cream, but not requiring an ice cream maker, which I don't have) that was really good. I found the recipe online somewhere. I still have it if you want it.

    P.S. I really love that you're out there gathering these mulberries in front of God and everybody. Awesome.