Until recently the mulberry trees in our yard and our neighbors yard have been nothing more than a nuisance. They drop berries all over the yard and the birds eat them and then poo purple everywhere.
Then one day last week FIL started talking about mulberries and how him and his sister used to eat them all the time when they were kids. He said I should pick some off the trees in the backyard and make something with them.
I guess I never really thought about actually eating them or cooking with them. Mulberries aren’t sold at my local grocery store and they aren’t an ingredient that pops up regularly in recipes.
Regardless last weekend I did some research online on mulberries. Turns out they are very similar to blackberries and they are pretty good for you. I found a few recipes that looked good too. It seems there are other people in the world who pick mulberries off trees in their backyard and eat them.
So I decided to pick some berries last Sunday. I took a big bowl out to the backyard and starting picking any ripe berries that I could reach.
There are two trees in our neighbors’ yard and one tree in our yard. The neighbors’ trees hang over the fence though so I say that anything hanging over into my yard is fair game. The trees produce a black mulberry so the darker the fruit is the more ripe it is.
I picked a huge bowl full of berries in no time. And that was only the berries I could reach. There were tons of berries up higher that I could’ve gotten with a step stool. Be warned however that mulberries can stain everything purple. Do not wear nice clothes to pick mulberries.
I wanted to freeze some of these berries because I knew I wouldn’t be able to use them up very quickly. Pick Your Own has freezing instructions for all types of berries. First wash the berries very well in several changes of cold water. I also rinsed mine in a bowl full of water mixed with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Then spread the berries out in one layer in a shallow dish or baking sheet that will fit in your freezer. This will help the berries freeze individually. If you stuffed the berries in a ziploc and then froze the whole bag the berries would freeze into a big clump.
Place the dish(es) in the freezer and leave for several hours or overnight. Any size dish will work. I used a pie plate, a shallow casserole dish and these two small casserole dishes.
I had to eat one of these berries though. But I don’t know…there’s just something about these berries that freaks me out a little bit. I don’t know what it is exactly but I had to cut the berry in half before I could eat it. I had to see what was inside first.
It was really similar to a blackberry. It wasn’t very sweet though, at least to me. I wasn’t sure that I really liked them plain. But then again I don’t like blackberries plain all that much. I like them when they are mixed into things or when they are a part of a recipe. But I never just sit around and eat them like I could blueberries or strawberries.
I plan to try them in several different recipes. I found a muffin recipe and an ice cream recipe so I would like to try both of those. I also found several jam and preserves recipes that I want to try as well. We’ll see how it goes.