Mom filled the white bowl with black raspberries.
I pour Bossie’s white milk over them,
watched it form a pattern,
flowing around the raspberries–
a design in deep purple and white.
I thought it almost too beautiful to eat.
I was seven.
Now I rarely find black raspberries. Red ones won’t do. They lack intensity, the beauty. Every year we went to Hunt’s Orchard north of Amazonia, Missouri, to buy black raspberries, took them home, sorted to discard the imperfect ones, then threw them way behind the garden next to the timber–huge trees, oak and hickory. Eventually, these imperfections transformed into thriving black raspberry bushes. We had our own patch, created from the discarded, the imperfect.
Mom fed us fresh raspberries for a few days. The rest she used to create her famous pies, froze a freezer full. Baked, they transformed a winter kitchen into the warmth and sweetness of my mother’s family devotion.
I bake pies, many kinds of pies. I have never made a black raspberry pie.
Note: this will be published in an upcoming publication by the Story Circle Network. In July my daughter, grandson, and I went to Hunt’s Orchard–yes, it still exists. I asked about black raspberries. We were too late; the season was over. The timber behind the garden area was to the right in this photo. The person who bought the land years later bulldozed down all the big trees.