It was a big week for me and my writerly pursuits. Both pieces I have been working on came out within two days of each other. The first one, for The Hairpin, was a quippy real-life rom-com about dating a Civil War reenactor. Aside from a hardtack reference and a somewhat era-appropriate supper description, it really has nothing to do with food. The second though, "The Mulberry's the Worst Berry There Ever Was" for Gilt Taste (with its wonder editor Francis Lam), is an ode to the little pesky berry that launched this whole pie making obsession and is essentially responsible for the existence of this here blog.
As I've talked a bit about before in Why I Like Pie, and as you'll read in the Gilt Taste piece, I started baking pies the summer after graduating college. I was discovering all these mulberry trees (and some black raspberry bushes) all over Ann Arbor, and used the free fruit to fill as many pies as I could make, often with other gal pals baking right along side me. When I moved to Vermont after that summer, my friend Margaret suggested we start a pie blog so we could still stay in touch via our baking endeavors. Et puis, voila.
I had such a nostalgia for mulberries, that it wasn't until I heard this recording, from the Coal River Project of the American Folklife Center (after scouring the Library of Congress archive for "mulberry" content) that I started to question their merits. Despite their drawbacks though, my feelings for the fruit remain, as do all the things that the mulberry set in motion. Here's a little musical ode to it that I came across in that mulberry search. It's a little torchy and a little cheesy, but somehow that feels right.