The berries in my backyard are abundant . . . and so are the Japanese beetles. The upper leaves of my cherry tree were eaten, just the skeleton of leaf veins left. We have the Japanese beetle bagger up and I am still picking them off foliage. So pretty but so destructive!
I have even been up on a ladder, shaking the branches of the tree. The beetles fall like rain. It no longer bothers me when they fall on my clothes (or down my shirt). I pick them off and put them in my bowl of soapy water. My husband watches with amusement. He is content to manage the beetle bagger. (Last year we saw the amazing results of the beetle bagger.
As I walked through the yard today I realized that I have been obsessed with getting rid of the beetles. The garden needs my nurture—watering, fertilizing. I can’t just focus on the pests.
Life is the same way. It is easy to get so distracted by the bad things happening that we can forget to nurture the good.
The joy in my yard comes from the beautiful berries. The red currant bushes are laden with strings of bright red currants. The black raspberries are ripening and I am making pies with them. The combination of black raspberries and blueberries makes a nice pie. Here is my recipe:
Prepare the pastry.
Add ¼ tsp. salt to 1 + ½ cup flour. Cut in ½ cup of butter using a pastry blender. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to ½ cup of cold water. Gradually drizzle the water over the flour mixture, mixing it in with a fork. Add just enough water for the dough to hold together. Do not over mix the dough. I like to place the dough in the refrigerator, letting it rest, while I put the filling together.
For the filling:
2 cups black raspberries
2 + ½ cups blueberries
½ cup sugar
¼ cup tapioca granules or tapioca flour
Combine the berries, sugar and tapioca.
Then take out the dough and divide it in half. Roll out one piece to line a 9” pie plate. Roll out the other piece to make a pie cover. I like to fold the dough for the top crust in half twice, and then make some decorative slits—it is like the way you make cuts on folded paper for paper snowflakes.
Place the filling in the prepared pie dish. Lay the top cover on the pie and seal the edges. Brush with water and sprinkle a little sugar on top. Bake at 350° for about 1 hour. The pastry should be golden and the filling bubbling.
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