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The end of summer feels like it is coming so fast! My squash is loving the super warm days, my peas not as much. I love picking peas and then sitting on the patio while I shell them, natures little candies! It’s so relaxing, listening to the birds chirping and just enjoying the warmth of the day. There’s almost nothing better than growing and putting up what I’ve grown. I put peas and berries in the freezer, but almost everything else, I usually can. Goodness knows I sure didn’t expect a canning lid shortage along with everything else that has been wonky so far this year. Chalk up another weirdo thing to add to my list of crazy 2020. Thank heavens, for my cousin Sally’s husband Gary. Not only did he find me some, but I have enough now for several years. Sally is coming by to drop them off and to to pick up some berries I have for her later this morning. It’s been so long since we’ve seen each other. It will be so nice to see her face in person!

I grow a lot of things in my yard, but this season, behind my shed, I’m growing blackberries, and not by choice. Now if you remember, I was dealing with an awful leg injury last year, and basically couldn’t do anything as physically taxing as yard work. Some things just didn’t get done, like beating back the blackberries that are constantly invading from the neighbors property. This year, when I got all the flower beds under control, I turned my attention to the corner by the shed. When I went back there, with my snippers and big cardboard box in hand, intent on cleaning them all out, there were just so many blossoms all over the vines, I didn’t have the heart to kill them. So now I just walk out back and pick a bucket full instead of heading to my favorite spot, down by the river. I have been putting them into the freezer, but now that I have lids, I will be able to make jam, syrup, and for the first time I’m going to infuse vodka with some. My favorite Polish Vodka is quince Soplica, so I’m going to call mine blackberry Kimlica!

Picking berries always takes me back to hot summer days with my grandma Pearl. My pink hippopotamus coffee can is long gone, I now use a pink sand pail in its place. In a way, I needed grandma to know I haven’t forgotten those times. I may have been a bit of a pill growing up, but I hold dear all of the things she gave me. I’m not talking monetarily, but more about life lessons. Like how to make something from nothing. The berries that are growing in my yard are free, but I will be making all sorts of things with them. Lessons of knowing my own strength. Grandma battled her cancer fiercely for years. I know I can work through any of my ailments because she showed me how, with her grace and determination. How to love, even though that means you have to say no sometimes, and have rules that need to be followed. Then, a person will know she can stand on her own two feet. Then, teach it to her children, so they can be their own persons too. I know I could be a stinker sometimes while growing up, but, she was hell on wheels too. If I know anything of myself, it’s that this apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. She would love to be putzing in my yard and kitchen, I can just see her making blackberry pierogi now! How I wish.

Today’s recipe is for a delicious summertime dessert that my family just loves! It has been baked in this perfect 2 1/2 quart Star baker. I’m going to be very honest with you all, this is the BEST Polish Stoneware cobbler/bread pudding/lasagna dish there is! It’s deep and won’t run over in your oven when everything is bubbling and baking away! It’s also a screaming deal of ONLY $39.99 while supplies last! This is a must have piece in anyone’s kitchen! The gorgeous Butterfly Merrymaking pie bird is perfect for this large piece, also on sale for $36.99.

To purchase any of these pieces, visit The Pottery Avenue by Pangaea website at www.potteryavenue.com. Use the search button and type in the pattern name or shape and it will bring up all of the pieces available. Can’t find what you are looking for? Just send a message and Twila and her team will be happy to help you. Use discount code Twila or PAF for your 20% discount.

From my heart to yours, Smacznego!

Kim’s Blackberry Macaroon Cobbler

Toss together
8 cups blackberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup instant tapioca
I tablespoon lemon juice

Topping
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cold butter cut into pieces
1 cup sweetened coconut
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Toss together the blackberries, sugar, tapioca and lemon juice and pour into 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Making a well in the middle, place pie bird in.
Pulse the flour and butter together in a food processor till the butter is pea size.
Add the sugar, pecans, baking powder, and salt and pulse to to combine.
Pour out into a mixing bowl and add the coconut, mix together. Add the egg and knead till you form a dough.
Cover berries with pinches of dough till berries are covered.

Place in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until macaroon topping is golden brown, and the berries are thick and bubbling.
Let cool on a wire rack, covered with a cloth so your pottery isn’t going from hot oven to cold rack, and let cool for at least an hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream for the perfect summertime treat!