In the back left corner of our yard every year we have a dilemna.
The dilemna involves dark red, almost plum-colored berries dropping over the fence from a large tree that is literally chock FULL of birds.
The birds love the trees because of the berries but what we don’t love is the mess of a thousand berries every year for our snow-white dogs and us to step on and smoosh and bring into the house.
The tree is a mulberry tree.
I don’t recall knowing what a mulberry tree was when I live in the north.
I first encountered one at a friend’s ranch when their teenage kids rode horses out to the tree, spread out a large and faded old bed sheet underneath it, then climbed up onto the branches and shook them.
The berries came pouring out of the tree onto the sheet and then we gathered the corners up, rode back to the house and rinsed them off to bake in a pie.
When I’ve mentioned mulberries to my friends, some seem to have a memory of their grandma baking them into pies or cobblers, but many have never tried one.
Mulberries greatest fame seems to come from the old nursery rhyme “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”, although I don’t know why it mentions a bush instead of a tree. And there was that crazy monkey that chased the weasel….and even Vincent Van Gogh must have loved mulberries as he featured them in his paintings, even naming one after the tree. although personally, I think this looks more like it should be called The Autumn Tree.
Perhaps the most important thing about mulberries to know is that they are outperforming other berries in phytoactive ingredients including much higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries and even cranberries. Long story short, these berries will help you resist disease.
After I read about the messy berries laying in our backyard, we decided that the best solution was to gather them up and eat them. I mean, why leave hundreds of perfectly edible berries that are going to make me Superwoman in the grass?
Here is an old recipe for an upside down cake that I tossed my first gathered cup of mulberries into. You could totally make this with blackberries or raspberries as well!
Would you like to see more recipes featuring picnic foods for summer? Check out what other wonderful food bloggers made for Food Network’s Summer Soiree!
Feed Me Phoebe: Baked Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
Buckwheat Double Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies: Buckwheat Double Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Bacon and Soufflé: Classic Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Fruit Sandwich
Napa Farmhouse 1885: White & Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Red or Green: Corn & Sweet Red Pepper Casserole
Homemade Delish: Mini Tea Sandwiches
Taste with the Eyes: Rice Noodles with Miso Butter and Ramen-Style Toppings
Virtually Homemade: Virtually Homemade Gluten Free Blueberry Crumble Bars
Dishin & Dishes: Iron Skillet Upside Down Mulberry (or Blackberry or Raspberry) Cake
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Strawberries and Skinny Yogurt Cheesecake Dip
Healthy Eats: How to Pack a Healthy Picnic — Summer Soiree
The Mom 100: Creamy Corn and Potato Salad with Bacon
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