Is there a sweeter month than June? It is the season of roses and butterflies, the time of year when fireflies come back – and the first harvest for blackberries and raspberries. There are countless tarts and jellies to make with these luscious berries, but I’ve never found any recipe that was an improvement over eating them out of hand. To make berries special I might put some in a fancy glass with a dollop of sweet homemade whipped cream and a sprig of mint or lemon verbena, but nothing beats standing at a thicket of brambly bushes, with scratched hands and hot sun on your hair and shoulders, picking and eating all the berries you can reach.
Don’t have a grand estate in the country to fully enjoy the berry season? Me, neither. Check out www.pickyourown.org to find a nearby farm where you can give your kids the experience of this sweet summer ritual. And think about planting some berry bushes close to home, in a container or even your front yard. The harvest should be accessible, even to city dwellers like me.