Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blackberry update

Jon Rowley showed me an awesome blackberry patch, just east of the Interbay Golf, right on a side street. The bushes were loaded.

Mr. Rowley, the area's most important tastemaker whose Rolodex is stuffed with the names and numbers of the biggest names in the food world -- "Hello, chef Keller. Yes, I've got some Yukon salmon heading your way" -- has fond childhood memories of plucking these sweet/tart berries, which his grandmother would turn into the most magical elixir.

I took my bucket full and made a blackberry crisp. Because, try as I might, I just cannot do pie crust. The crisp turned pretty soupy, though it was still darned tasty. I sought the advice of experts who suggested letting the berries mascerate and drain before cooking them.

I think I'm going to try and get out one more time before the picking season's over.

Speaking of autumn, I've been busy braising and roasting. My Alaska fisherman nephew Brandon and his ship mate Robby requested meatballs when I cooked for them this past week, and I had to make my pal Anne's recipe from memory. Turned out pretty good, though something was missing.

Also made my best buddy Leita's braised rabbit pasta last week, a recipe she picked up while living in Sicily. Everybody's going to ask, so here's the skinny: I got the rabbit at Fero's Meat Market at Pike Place Market. You've got to ask for it. They keep it in the freezer.

What's on your plate during this shoulder season?

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