Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Salmonberry Pie party

For the first time since living here in Alaska, I discovered what salmon berries are and the boys and I began discovering them all over the church property. Our hunts for more salmon berries (which look a lot like raspberries) usually went like this: the boys would see some berries and tell me (with the Little Sweetie in a backpack) to go wade deep into the bushes and get them! Both the Little Sweetie and I ended up with a few brush scratches from this plan. It's certainly not like heading out to my parents' garden to grab a few raspberries off their carefully cultivated bushes. Thankfully, this is a bumper crop year for salmon berries and over the course of a few days "we" (O Boy did end up helping but Mr. T usually ate any berries he discovered) picked enough to make a pie. This was O Boy's idea.
First, he decided "we" would pick the berries. Then he wanted "us" to make a party, making pizza, rice and salad to serve. Then he began working on the guest list, which quickly included most of the people he knows (that would have meant several salmon berry pies!). His plan for the party was that we would eat pie, eat the above menu and pick salmon berries.
The final draft of the party actually included a very large poster welcoming guests to the salmon berry pie party, berry napkins I'd been given years ago and had never found the right occasion to put them to use, paper cups with berries on them, and printed Thomas the tank engine coloring pages (off the internet) for every guest. And of course the guests included his most favorite friend Charlotte, her mom, and two sisters. On a side note Charlotte began crying when they arrived for the party because she insisted that she was the only one invited and not her older two sisters. She was surprised to discover that they had been included (at Ollie's request) in the invitation too!
And now to the pie...this too went through several phases of planning as I began getting hints from several different conversations that salmon berries are not usually used to make pies! This was of course after I'd agreed to make one. This is because they are, in the words of one recipe site, "watery and insipid." So after suggestions from my chiropractor, who has provided many excellent cooking tips before, and a local friend who also decided to make a salmon berry pie with her sons, we finally tracked down a recipe online. And with enough sugar, raspberry jello and whipped cream, it was actually a very delicious pie!

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