Ahhh sweet, juicy olallieberries.
Or is it olallaberries? I think it’s olallieberries, but I still pronounce it “olala.” It just feels more fun that way really!
When I first saw these beauties, I thought they may be a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. They’re actually a cross between a loganberry and a young berry. (Cue the Wikipedia link.)
I’ve never seen them in the farmer’s markets or grocery stores. The only place I’ve been lucky enough to find them, is in Northern California, in the backyard of hubby’s childhood home. The first time I visited his parents’ home, I was almost immediately whisked to the backyard. I found myself on about an acre of land, starting with dense green grass, and just a few steps beyond it, a lush garden filled with corn, lettuce, tomatoes, a variety of squashes, onions, herbs, rows of flowers, and then…a wall of berries. Olallieberries to be exact. It was summertime – the perfect time of year for picking.
Actually, I was more amazed by the tall corn stalks. I had never seen any before, and there were about a half dozen rows of ten. I walked amongst them, peeking my head out. I think hubby has a picture of me doing just that!
Although it was almost a decade ago, he knew me well even then. He pulled me away from the corn and the colorful veggies, led me to the freestanding berry wall, picked a couple, and gave them to me. The warm early sun had already penetrated the dark berry’s flesh, accentuating the flavors that flooded my mouth with each juicy burst of the berry’s little pods.
This city girl had entered a little bit of farm land, and found it to be absolutely marvelous!
So we stood out there for a little while, and just kept picking. And eating. And picking.
And the next morning, we woke up and came down to the kitchen. Coffee was already brewing, and on the island, was milk, creamer, fruit, cheese, jellies, peanut butter, bread, eggs, nuts, yogurt, cereal, juice and pretty much everything you could want for breakfast. I’m not exaggerating. That’s simply how hubby’s mom roles. Hubby poured a bowl of cereal and waited for me to do the same. Then he grabbed his bowl (sans milk) and started walking out towards the garden. Of course, I followed!
We walked out to the berry wall and topped our cereal bowls off with a deep layer of berries. Then we came back in, customized the rest of our breakfast spread, and started our morning off right. There’s something about waking up to crisp morning air, heading out to the garden in your pjs to collect parts of your breakfast, and enjoying a beautiful view of the neighbor’s pasture that instills a sense of calm.
I look forward to going out there, especially in the summer. These days, while the walls location in the garden has been changed, it’s still there, every summer, in all it’s deep, dark, brambly beauty. This summer, there were raspberries, strawberries, and even some blueberries. The adjacent trees were just starting their fruiting – baby fuzz peaches, nectarines, and green pears.
This place is quickly becoming the source of many pleasant summer memories! I’d be remiss to not mention that it actually was the site of our wedding reception exactly two years and three days ago. Apparently, it’s a source of a pleasant summer memory for a lot of friends and family, because they’re still talking about it! Yay!