It may be the first line of a childhood nursery rhyme to some, but at our farm, its a death defying summertime stunt! Our old mulberry bush is a fully mature tree of about 30 feet. Each year, Mike allows me to raise him up with the bucket of the tractor to pick the sweet, succulent fruit. Now that doesn’t sound particularly difficult unless you know our property and my tractor skills. We may be in Kansas but not an inch of our land is flat. We park the tractor on a steep slope, set the brake and I raise the bucket. The bucket jerks and bounces into the branches and a rain of juicy berries shower Mike, falling to the ground he is now far above. Mike swears and I cringe, wishing I wasn’t parked on this hillside with my husband’s life in my hands, now white from gripping the bucket lever and steering wheel. All in an attempt to beat out the birds for a meager portion of mulberries.
Did I mention that for some odd reason, we always wear white and come back to the house with purple fingers and shirts.
Crazy, you think? Yet each summer, we repeat the process and enjoy the taste of this summertime treat.
I guess, we are not the only ones crazy about mulberries. Vincent Van Gogh painted, The Mulberry Tree in October 1889 while hospitalized in a mental asylum in the South of France after the infamous,”ear incident.”
So, all of these random tidbits were just my usual round about way to lead you to Friday’s recipe. Happy Friday, everyone!
3 to 4 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped or you can use 1 pint of cherry tomatoes halved
1 pint mulberries, whole and stems are ok
3 to 4 garlic cloves finely chopped (depending on taste)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil(EVOO)
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
chopped fresh mint to taste ( I used about 3 Tbsp.)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mix ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours to marinate flavors
Serve atop slices of toasted baguettes spread with goat cheese.
Cooks tip: I toasted my bread and spread the goat cheese, then top with bruschetta mixture and sprinkle with fresh parmesan. Toast in 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes(just till cheese starts to melt) It makes a great appetizer or even a light meal on a warm summer evening.
If you do not have a giant mulberry tree in your back yard, don’t despair. Just substitute blackberries or strawberries, it will be just as good.