Ripley Senior News: Column

Janet F. Smart
Ripley Senior News

Hi, everyone.

My riddle for you this week is: Why are blackberries never lonely?

The senior centers have reopened. As a reminder, the following are guidelines that they will go by:

  • Hours will be from 11 a.m.-noon for lunch only Monday-Friday.
  • Curbside meals will still be offered from 10-10:30 a.m. on the days the center is open.
  • You must enter through the front door. Before gaining entrance, a screening will be conducted. Wearing a mask is not required, but optional.
  • A reservation is required for indoor dining and for curbside meals. You may call the center a day ahead at 304-372-5151 to make your reservation.
  • If you are sick or have been exposed to COVID, please do not come to the center.
  • We will be observing CDC guidelines for social distancing. If you have any concerns or questions, you may call the center at 304-372-5151.

There will be no other activities until further notice, only lunch. Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, other activities will resume; until then, I’m sure you will enjoy being able to have lunch again inside the center.

Keep your eyes and ears open for further updates.

The vegetable vouchers will be available sometime in August.

I promised you a blackberry recipe this week. I’m picking blackberries now and a favorite of everyone is what I call Fancy Blackberry Cobbler. It is always a popular dish at reunions and church dinners. It’s a little different, but it is delicious and worth the extra effort.

Fancy Blackberry Cobbler

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup milk

2 cups water

approx. 1 quart of blackberries

1/2 cup shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass or metal baking dish. Heat sugar and water in saucepan until sugar dissolves; set aside. Cut shortening into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and stir with a fork only until dough leaves sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured wax paper. Roll out to a 12 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread berries evenly over dough. Roll up jelly-roll style. Cut into slices, each about 1/2-inch thick. Arrange slices in pan with melted butter. Pour sugar syrup carefully around and over rolls. This looks like too much liquid, but the crust will absorb it. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Optional: Substitute blackberries with 2 cups finely chopped apples. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon.

Blackberries are really good for you. They have only 62 calories and 1 gram of fat in a cup. They have been hailed as a “superfood,” and are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, and they do not contain harmful cholesterol.

During the American Civil War blackberry tea was used to cure dysentery. More than one ceasefire was reportedly called for the purpose of picking blackberries and Confederate and Union soldiers would pick the tasty fruit together, often from the same bush at the same time.

It was once believed that passing sick people several times through the loop formed by a bramble branch could cure them of conditions including rickets, whooping cough, hernias and rheumatism.

I don’t know about that but when I was a baby, I was in the hospital for about a week. The doctors didn’t know what to do to cure me. When I came home from the hospital, I was passed through a horse’s collar down at Grandma’s house and was cured of my illness!

I leave you with the following verses:

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Answer to riddle: Because they hang out in bunches!