Monday, July 20, 2020

Balsam and Blackberries

Another weekend, another walk on the Heath. I continue to marvel at how well Olga's responded to her anti-inflammatory medication. She's like a new dog -- queen of the hill, you might say. She shows much more energy and enthusiasm. And she's got to feel better, not being arthritically achey. I wish we'd known sooner that that's what was slowing her down.

We saw Himalayan balsam on our walk -- it's a pretty flower but it's also an invasive species. Only afterwards did I wonder if I should have pulled it up myself.

This guy was practicing his guitar out in the woods -- playing for a tree stump. He sounded pretty good, but I didn't stick around to listen. I'm not sure he wanted an audience, aside from the stump.

Anyway, we made a full circle of the Heath and even climbed Parliament Hill before ambling back home, where Dave...

...had made a blackberry pie!

Remember how I said we had a bumper crop of blackberries in the garden this year? Well, yesterday morning I picked a big bowl of them -- a bowl bigger than Olga's head! Dave was impressed at the quantity, and I couldn't even reach the berries at the top of the vines. While Olga and I walked, Dave got to baking.

Here's the end result! It reminds me so much of the blackberry cobblers made by Mrs. Kirkland, the woman who took care of me and my brother after school when we were small children. I had a profound "food memory experience," I believe Dave called it, as I was eating that pie.


  1. I'll have some of that medicine that Olga is on if its that good. I bet she feels great now. That's the trouble with animals, they can't say how they feel can they?
    Dave is a great cook by the look of it, that pie is lovely.
    Blackberries in July was unheard of once. I remember we always went blackberrying late August to early September.

  2. That bramble pie looks so scrumptious. Well done Dave! Nice to hear that Olga is now moving smoothly like her namesake - Olga Korbut.

  3. That was a good walk. Glad that Olga is moving well.
    Around here we can report Himalayan Balsalm and Japanese Knotweed, but I don't know what you would do there.

    Pie? Mmmmmm😎

  4. How good to hear Olga has a new lease of life.
    And that pie - made with fruit from your garden. Make the most of it.

  5. Tell Dave I need him in my Kitchen. That pie looks delicious. I really stopped by to tell you that I am so glad you finally decided to send your ballot off so you won't have a problem voting. We have to do something with this low life orange thing. It's so much going on it make you sick. The coronavirus is killing young, children, babies and all of us and he is on tv talking about the young people just have a sniffle and will get well fast, People are losing jobs, don't have money to pay their bills and last of the mess. He have U.S. customs, Homeland security, border patrol, and The U.S. Marshalls on the streets in unmarked cars, snatching people (protestors) off the streets in Portland, Oregon taking them to undisclosed location. Where the hell, has never been told. What's happening to the protestors have never been told. He said on yesterday that they were destroying federal property. Steve they burned a police station in that city and that was not Federal property. I am wondering if that no good bastard think we all are crazy like him. Oh well, another bipolar dam fool is running and had his campaign rally yesterday in North Carolina (I believe it was) Kanye West is the fool. He had 2020 written in his head with a marker. Steve where are we all going from here? This man is mentally disturbed so bad he is taking medication for the problem. I wanted to tell you about this mess yesterday but I waited too late and I really wanted you to know what we poor people over here are going through. We wake up every morning with a ton of new bullshit from the orange thing. Where do we go from here and hopefully in November we can eliminate this problem.

  6. Food and smells are powerful evokers of memory.
    (Phew. Just read Angelicastar’s comment above, and while I agree with every word, it gave me the shudders.)

  7. Blueberry pie sounds very nice.

    I had to check the location of Parliament Hill. Not too far from the Men's Bathing Pool.

    Guitar player........every performer wants an appreciative audience.

  8. Those are really wonderful photos of Olga. She sure is beautiful. And that pie looks sooo delicious! Enjoy it, hugs, Edna B.

  9. I am so happy for Olga.
    And that pie! Tell Dave he has made all of us jealous.

  10. Good news about Olga. And kudos to Dave. That pie looks scrumptious.

  11. Love the good news about Olga. Yay!!
    The pie looks delicious. Yum.

  12. What an inviting pie! Well done.
    And cheers to Olga and her medicine.

    Don't touch that Himalaya balsam, you can get a nasty rash. Here, the guys wear space suits when they clear it down by the river footpath.

  13. looks delish! if you get peaches there you should get Dave to make a peach blackberry pie. I usually use 3 ½ - 4 cups peaches and 1 - 1 ½ cups dewberries/blackberries for a total of 5 cups fruit.

    when out boxer got old and creaky we gave her an anacin for arthritis hidden in a glob of liverwurst every day.

  14. That pie looks delicious! I bet it tasted good. It certainly beats the pound cake I made this weekend. It turned out a little dry.

  15. I'm drinking the last of my morning coffee and drooling over that pie!

    What is the name of the medicine Olga takes? We're beginning to think Ginger needs an anti inflammatory too.

  16. Oh, that pie! And that's a beautiful memory to have.

  17. That pie looks so good. Dave must be quite the cook. My mom used to make raspberry pie from freshly picked raspberries from our backyard. Memories....

  18. Dave makes a very good looking pie. And I'll bet it tasted great. You're a lucky guy. And lucky that Olga didn't dive headfirst into that bowl of berries!

  19. Mmmmmmm pie. I can't make a pie to save my life, it's just sad. Cake, I can do, but no pie for us. I'm really happy to hear that Olga is doing so much better.

  20. Oh that pie looks fabulous! I'd suffer through some seeds to eat that :)

  21. So glad Olga has found her mojo drug. Pain will stop everything in its tracts. She certainly made up for it, that is quite a walk.The pie looks incredible-With cream, OMG, I am dying! Ours are not even close to ripening yet, still gnarly little green blubs.

  22. That's a mighty fine pie.......and I should know xx

  23. I'm so glad Olga is better. My mother would make blackberry pie when we lived in Washington State for a few years as I was growing up. They grew wild, seemingly everywhere. They certainly make incredible pies and pastry. Dave's pie looks really good.

  24. I had to laugh at the idea of you taking upon yourself the [surely monumental?] task of weeding the Heath! :)

  25. I am glad Olga's medicine is working. My oldest cat Lily takes medicine for her joints and after about a month it really made a difference to her poor old stiff limbs! I am jealous of the pie!

  26. ...and Does that pie ever look good. Good job Dave.

  27. Briony: It's weird how the berry season has shifted! Global warming, I suppose.

    YP: I knew you wouldn't be able to leave a comment without subtly reminding me that blackberries are called "brambles" in your world. Always with the linguistic differences, YP! I had to look up Olga Korbut.

    GZ: I think the Heath is well enough patrolled that these plants will be promptly removed. I didn't realize Himalayan balsam is reportable.

    Alphie: Absolutely! I just saw this morning that the vines are laden with even more ripe berries.

    Angelicastar: Of course I agree with you COMPLETELY about the need to get rid of Trump. You can bet I'll be voting in November! Can you imagine how different this coronavirus situation might be if we had some real leadership in the White House?

    Marty: Isn't that a central theme in Proust -- he smells the madeleine and it takes him back to childhood? (Not that I've ever read Proust.)

    Andrew: Well, it's interesting -- he's playing on the Heath, so he's out in public, which makes one think he'd like an audience. But he's in a very secluded part of the Heath, so maybe not?!

    Edna: It IS delicious. All kudos to Dave.

    Ms Moon: You can make blackberry pie in season there, I'm sure. (You probably already do!)

    Mary: It is! (It's 2/3 gone already.)

    Robin: Yes, we're happy about it. I'm so glad she feels better.

    Sabine: No kidding?! I had no idea. There's also another noxious weed that will cause a nasty burn, giant hogweed. The invasion of the killer plants!

    Ellen: We gave Olga a paracetamol occasionally, but I think the Metacam is better for her over time. (I THINK.) We get peaches imported from Europe but I never feel like they ripen correctly. Nothing like the peaches where you are, I'm sure.

    Sharon: Dave made a pound cake, too! He's trying to kill me with kindness, I think.

    Jennifer: It's called Metacam (brand name), or meloxicam. There's a human version called Mobic, but apparently it can't be given to dogs. Maybe the dosage is too high.

    Mitchell: I have a lot of good memories of Mrs. Kirkland. She was with us for several years during a very formative part of my childhood.

    Michael: Dave is a trained chef, so I'm very lucky on that front!

    Catalyst: Nah, she's not interested in berries. If it had been ground beef we'd never have held it so close to her!

    Allison: I don't know that I've ever tried to make a pie. I just eat them, LOL!

    Bug: Yeah, it's worth the fleeting dental discomfort!

    Linda Sue: She was like a puppy again!

    John: An expert evaluation!

    Colette: It seems like the Pacific Northwest has a climate very similar to England. Linda Sue, blogging from there, often posts pictures of many of the same plants we have here. And just like here, blackberries grow there like crazy!

    Fresca: Yeah, I probably don't want to start down that road. LOL!

    Sarah: It's remarkable how different her behavior is now. You probably see the same with Lily.

    Red: Indeed! He's a wonder!