Rusty likes blackberries. It came as quite a surprise to me. We had gotten Rusty from the shelter in 1999 when he was four months old.
At the time, we lived on two acres in a rural area on the Ohio/Indiana border called Blue Jay. One day, I was preparing blackberries and looked down to see Rusty staring expectantly at me or rather, at the plump blackberry in my hand. I had never given a tart, wild blackberry to a dog before, but that’s what he seemed to want. He loved it. Luckily, I had buckets of berries picked from our wild thicket in the backyard, so he got a fair share of our bounty.
I took Rusty with me when I went out to pick berries – not always a good thing for me. I had taken off my straw hat for a minute and looked around to see this.
I wasn’t happy that my hat was all gnawed around the edges.
I scolded him a little, but not enough to warrant this sad reaction.
A year later, I wrote a piece for a web site about Rusty and his favorite fruit.
BLACKBERRY TIME IN BLUE JAY – Rusty, our year-old hound, seems to know when the blackberries are ready for picking. He takes off toward the back yard on a brisk trot, straining at his leash – past the asparagus bed and rhubarb, along the border of the vegetable garden, down to the very edge of the property where the wild blackberries grow. Rusty plucks off all the berries he can reach, always choosing the choice center berry, ignoring the thorns that prickle his nose. We still have plenty of dark, lustrous berries to carry back to the house in our graniteware bucket to cook up into summertime treats such as Blackberry Cobbler.
That was the last summer I could put on my tattered straw hat and take Rusty down to the blackberry patch. My husband’s condition worsened and we had to move to a property I could manage alone. David has been gone for over 7 years, but Rusty is still with me, an elderly 12-year-old, and I still get some blackberries at the farm market and make that good Blackberry Cobbler from a recipe found in an old Farm Journal Pie cookbook.
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
4 cups blackberries
1 T butter
½ tsp cinnamon or ¼ tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for one minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and gently stir in the blackberries.
Pour this mixture into an ungreased 10” x 6 x 2 inch baking dish or a 1-½ qt casserole.
Dot with butter and sprinkle with spices.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1-½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup shortening
½ cup milk
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Stir in the milk.
Drop spoonsful of dough over the hot fruit filling.
Bake in a 400 F degree oven about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
Serve in bowls with cobbler juices. Best when served warm.
Rusty still gets an occasional ripe blackberry tossed his way.
9 thoughts on “Blackberry Cobbler and a Berry-Loving Dog”
Aw, I forgot how he looked as a young ‘un. I knew he was copper-colored, but I forgot just how richly colored he was. And so sleek. And yes, he’s definitely fatter now. But he still likes blackberries!
I love that story!! and those pictures of Rusty are adorable!! I love him and I would love a big bowl of that cobbler:)
Rusty is a cutie! I have never heard of a dog who likes berries. That’s so interesting. This is such a cute and warming story!
What a great story! I’m sure this cobbler will be as great as your Chocolate Zuchini bread which is a HUGE winner here in Wolcott. We absolutely love it!! When my hubby asked where I got the recipe, I told him Lillian of course!
I’m glad you enjoyed the zucchini bread. To me, it’s hard to find a dish with blackberries that isn’t good. Lillian
I never heard of a dog eating blackberries but when I was little my mother like lettuce and our cocker, Topsie, would eat lettuce also. Think I will pick up some blackberries at the market, I coud substitute gluten free flour.
Cute story. I’ve never heard of a dog eating berries before either. How funny is that.
I’m going to have to try this recipe. It looks wonderful….I’ll be getting a new oven soon so I’ve put this on my list of things to make when it gets installed. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
What a great dog your Rusty is…I love how he chewed your hat…gave it some character!
I just love your blog, you are so talented and I save all of your recipes.
Oh, and I save the quilt block tutorials, too…I have learned alot from you. Thanks!
Hope your summer is going well 🙂
Thank you for so many nice comments. You must be a dog lover, too.
Had a great summer and am now looking forward to fall. Lillian