Imagine. An early July morning. Small rays of sunshine prick flat ways through bushes because the sun is just showing over the horizon. I need to pick blackberries before I go to work AND before the rattlesnakes come out. I’ve heard stories.
These blackberry bushes are not the polite domesticated kind growing in gardens. In my neighborhood, they grow around creeks and ponds and they are weed-like as they take over trails and roads. In addition, they are full of thorns! And (I’ve heard tell) rattlesnakes crawl up into their branches to cool off during the day.
This shrubbery’s saving grace is free, fresh blackberries in July. I am standing in the middle of thorny bushes, gloved, wearing long sleeves, long pants and tall galoshes, on the lookout for juicy blackberries (and snakes.) Normally at this time of day I would be on a treadmill, or thinking about being on a treadmill, but there is a blackberry celebration at the barn in my neighborhood tonight. We are all bringing a dish to share, celebratory blackberries being the star ingredient.
My mission is to make something that people will choose out of a sea of blackberry filled food so that I will go home with an empty dish. My plan: make an entré and make it using fresh, delicious and appealing ingredients.
At home, after work, it is a quick matter to make this protein filled salad. I have the blackberries I picked this morning (or could have bought at the store.) The package of Goodheart ready to use Classic Diced Grilled Chicken Breast is in the refrigerator and it is the perfect amount. I also have some ripe peaches which will add another lovely color.
In a matter of moments I am out the door, with a beautiful dish to share, and, despite wearing my protective gear this morning, bramble scratches on my arms and legs reminding me of my early morning commune with nature.