It's been a summer of mood swings here in Portland - we've had very hot, very cool, and very stormy weather, as well as smoke from recent wildfires blanketing the valley.
So I haven't been as on-top of my blackberry picking as I have been in past years. We live near some wonderful walking paths, a lot of them lined with blackberry bushes, so I've been anxious to go out. Well, I finally got to it yesterday with my niece. We were fairly certain we'd get rained on, but this was a rare Pacific Northwest moment where the dark clouds blew away from us!
We had a good time, but didn't find the kind of volume I would have hoped for. A lot of the berries were either unripe, out of reach, or shrivelled on the vine. We hiked through some tall grass in hopes of finding better berries, but only found dried ones - and wound up covered in burrs for our trouble.
Seriously - it took about 45-minutes to comb and scissor all of them from Shiloh's legs, belly, chest, and ears. We're talking around a hundred burrs.
|A not very focused picture of the blackberries.|
However, the whole point of the excursion was not just to have berries, but to do something out of them. Because we didn't get a ton, I supplemented with some from my freezer and made a version of my favorite banana bread! Actually I usually call it a cake, because I bake it in a round Springform pan.
My nephew and I argued over its identity as a cake - the recipe it's based off of, the Cinnamon Banana Cake from Amber Rose's Bake, Love, Nourish, is called a cake. And it's got fruit in it. My nephew alleged that the fruit on the inside made it a pie. Cue more arguing.
Anywhoodle - here's the recipe:
~ Banana & Blackberry Cake ~
1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 stick plus one tablespoon (9 tablespoons total) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup honey
4 very ripe bananas, well-mashed
2 cups blackberries (I eyeballed this one)
1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the bananas, honey, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir together until well-blended but still slightly lumpy. Add most of the blackberries, and then pour into the pan. Dot remaining blackberries onto the top.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the cake has pulled from the sides and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
So this was my version of enjoying local flavors this week! What was yours? The My Local Flavor promotion ends tomorrow - there's still time to enter! Just snap a pic of your local flavor, and share it with the tags #MyLocalFlavor and #ReservationsForTwo in order to be entered to win one of five gift baskets or a KitchenAid stand mixer! For full rules and details, click here.