26 July 2004

Reason #834 I love Montclair

About those black raspberries: They grow like weeds in my neighborhood (and some of my more idiotic neighbors actually consider them to be weeds). They serve as my bait to get me out jogging regularly at least one month out of the year.
This year, they're ripe about a month early, and they're plumper, juicier, and sweeter than ever before.

Today I happened upon a particularly thick thicket of them, so I decided to sacrifice my shirt, doing the hold-up-your-t-shirt-like-a-bucket trick to bring home a load of them. My shirt will probably never be quite the same; I'm hoping that purple berry stains aren't wildly noticeable on a dark maroon t-shirt. At my friend Katrina's suggestion, I'm infusing them in a big old bottle of vodka (the kind you get in a plastic bottle at the grocery store for $9). Come visit in about a month (I guess I am an optimist!) and help me toast the kitchen's completion with blackberry cosmos!


  1. Anonymous10:08 AM

    A secret from your berry-laden Oregon friends: pour forceful boiling water on the berry stains to get them out. My mother always said cold water for stains, but I saw it work with my very own eyes.
    p.s. please make sure you're not wearing the shirt at the time.

  2. You got Martha Stewart to blog from her cell! Good idea, that, removing your shirt before applying boiling water to the berry stains.

    Oh, berry mavens... What, pray tell, is the difference, if any, between black raspberries and blackberries? Horticulturally inclined linguists want to know.

  3. Well, I keep trying to find out the difference, and nobody seems to have a definitive answer. Are there any horticulturists out there who are ready to weigh in? Do you need a super-close-up picture of something?

    Martha, you're being confused with jail fodder!

  4. Anonymous9:28 AM

    In my youth I was teased by being called Martha Washington (not helped by the fact that alphabetically I was always seated next to a boy named George), and life seems not to have improved as an adult.

    Let it be understood by all that I bear no resemblance to either personage.

  5. Gee, Erin,

    I still say they're blackberries. I have some black raspberries ripening in my yard and they're different than your blackberries.

    Apropos of which, in strolling the neighborhood last T'giving, I still found some ripening blackberries.

  6. I believe that blacke berries have a courser make up the black rasp - the small individual nodes that make them up are larger in the blackberry.

    Does it matter? The blackberry cosmos sound divine...or come on down and we can have mango cosmo's....

  7. Anonymous10:24 AM

    Blackberry, raspberry, black raspberry. What's the difference? The names seem to be used with abandon to describe plants with fruit ranging from purple, orange, amber, pale-yellow and red to black. I'd always thought that raspberries had red fruit and blackberries had black fruit and that was that. But, I find that this isn't actually the case.

    The difference lies, not in the color of the berry, but in the way it is connected to the receptacle. When ripe, raspberries separate from their receptacles (the central knob or core), producing a hollow core and blackberries and other dewberries don't; the core is part of the ripe fruit. There are also differences in the cane, which we'll get in to a bit later

  8. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Hi Erin, Forgot to weigh in on the black raspberry question. Those are definitely raspberries. The blackberries that they grow in WA and OR and elongated berries 3/4 - 1 inch long, raspberries are round.

    Both are good to eat!