Is a Cobbler Worth It?
By Nikki Pelezo / Dort Roads
Several years ago, in the dead of night, we drove into Oklahoma and stole a hunk of Aunt Rade’s blackberry vine. We snuck on the old abandoned home place, and by the light of our old truck we dug up pieces of memory.
Aunt Rade always had a huge blackberry vine in the far corner of her yard. For ten months of the year, Aunt Rade would yell at us by saying “get away from my blackberry vines, there MIGHT be snakes.” Then came May and June and it was “here take this pail and bring me some blackberries.” Did we look stupid or what?
We brought our hunk of vine home to East Texas and planted it in the corner of the yard. It took off and we’ve enjoyed blackberries ever since. This is the time of year that I’ll cut out the old dead canes and cut it back some.
The original blackberry vine at Aunt Rade’s came from an old cemetery across the road, and Uncle Ben referred to it as “THE DEVIL.” It’s one of those old-timey berry plants that keeps on giving. You can’t kill it and it becomes a monster if it had its way. The least little breeze will whip those canes 40 yards into the next field and will castrate a standing bull. We are talking about thorns an inch and a half long and as sharp as box cutters.
So today, I tackled “THE DEVIL.” I put on two flannel shirts, one windbreaker, levis and cowboy boots (just in case there are any snakes). The temperature today stands at 60 degrees, but under the two flannel shirts and the windbreaker, it must be 130. What I should have worn is one of those “Shining Armor” suit’s the knights used to wear during the Crusades, with chainmaille gloves. But no, I have to wear Wal-Mart cotton garden gloves with the little rubber bumps on the palms and the rubber bumps are useless against blackberry thorns.
I’m now sitting under the ceiling fan, dripping with perspiration and am unwrapping band-aids as fast as I can before I bleed to death. I love blackberry cobbler, and I saw last week, in the freezer section at the grocery store, bags of frozen blackberries. I didn’t know one could buy blackberries without being mauled by razor sharp thorns. One can actually buy blackberries without the fear of snakes, and one can actually buy blackberries without getting your hands stained purple. But you and I know that the cobbler would never taste as good as one made with Aunt Rade’s Devil.