I am currently finding myself in a season of blackberry fever. The symptoms so far have presented as sketching and painting blackberries on any surface I can find. There has also been outbreak of baking and cooking all the blackberry dishes my heart and family can handle. Let’s not forget reading all about the plant itself and the little and sometimes large creatures who enjoy blackberries as much as we do. Who knew there was so much to learn! For instance, did you know the cluster of berries or fruits is called a drupelet, how cute is that word? Spending time learning about the animals that make the most of these bushes has become my new hobby these last few weeks as we anticipate the arrival of blackberry season in Tennessee.
Over the last few weeks the image of the darling creatures brining their specific needs to the brambly bush, and it supplying what each visitor needs so fully and individually keeps playing out in my mind. There’s so much hope found in that one scene. How many different scenarios can we apply that to? I know for me, I can think of God, motherhood, friendships, church… the list could literally go on and on. The provision of the one thing so greatly anticipated by so many, to meet so many different needs, is just so beautiful. This certainly makes me think of you Mommas with multiple kids. Your ability to provide for your individual kiddos needs is amazingly beautiful, not to compare you to a bramble, but you know what I mean!
I had a conversation with my daughter recently discussing why some things work for some people and not for others. Homeschool math was the exact topic. However my recent study of all things blackberry helped me talk her through some tough emotions. I explained to her that the beautiful cardinal makes a nest up in the branches of the blackberry bush, usually in the center, and the precious chipmunks live underneath the bush in the protection of the lower branches and thorns. If the subject of math is represented by the bush, and two different learning styles by the animals, then wouldn’t it be silly for the chipmunk to try and live in the cardinals home when she was created to nest and burrow under ground . Of course this is a simple metaphor and we could always go deeper, but she totally got it and didn’t feel bad about the math program that wasn’t right for her anymore. I am so thankful I took some time with this subject because a good, timely metaphor is always helpful with parenting!
So after finding myself fully immersed in the subject of blackberries I have a new favorite recipe to share with you, and just in time for berry season! This recipe is an icing that would be lovely on top of cupcakes (that’s how I served it), or maybe on a lemon cake! It would be so yummy sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies, or you could even just layer it with granola and yogurt…. you can literally just eat it with a spoon (and we did some of that too). Its light and dreamy…. it freezes well for a few weeks so you can make a big batch and keep it handy! I hope you enjoy it and make it your own, change the berry if you don’t find yourself as enamored with blackberries as I am currently. Enjoy!!
Blackberry Mascarpone Icing
- 8oz Mascarpone cheese (let sit out a few minutes before using)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar ( more if you want a thicker texture )
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup blackberry preserves ( or any type of jam or preserves )
- Handful of fresh clean berries to decorate with, or pressed edible flowers like violets
In a medium bowl stir together the mascarpone cheese and vanilla, then once the cheese is smooth and slightly runny, sift the powdered sugar over the top, and stir well. Next stir in the jam or preserves and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer ( or with a hand held mixer) whip the cream until stiff… usually about 3 minutes on high. Gently fold in the berry mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately or refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour if icing is too soft. This recipe will also freeze for at least 3 weeks… maybe longer but we couldn’t wait!