Now, I know we are all extremely adamant and often defensive about our own parenting choices, perhaps rightly so. This is just my opinion, but I think it is a good one, perhaps rightly so. Every child should have the experience of growing, or at any rate harvesting, his own food.
Today, more than ever, I sense the importance of this simple pastime, once necessity.
We live in an ever-increasingly technological world.
We live in an ever-increasingly individualistic society.
Technology is not bad.
Individuals are not bad.
But, we lose our balance.
We forget our roots.
We forget—and because we forget, our children may never learn—that we are all of one family, and our roots go deep, and our identity comes from our kin and from the land, and all of it a blessing from the Lord.
Our children need the chance to witness the cycle of growth, to know the joy of the harvest, and see the fruits of their labors glistening in pie crust and shining in rows of jewel-toned jars.
Our children need dirt under their fingernails and juice dripping beautiful and messy from their mouths, and the felicity of sunshine, fresh air, and untainted fellowship.
Simple. Free. Necessity.
So, you may not agree with me, but I still maintain that all children ought to pick blackberries until they are stained purple in the glow of the August sun.
Makes 2 12-ounce jars.
8 c. fresh blackberries
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. Chambord or other raspberry liqueur
1/2 c. maple syrup
2 T lemon juice
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan for 5 minutes or until berries are soft. Mash with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Strain syrup into a clean saucepan. Return to boil for 5 more minutes. Skim foam from the top with a metal spoon. Pour into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4’’ headspace. Put lids and rings on to finger tightness, and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
Serve over pancakes in the dead of winter. We like this best with Banana Pancakes.