Blackberry Picking Trip

Out looking for berries

In my last post I mentioned the importance of getting off the Whitman campus and exploring the surrounding area(s). Besides being historically important (at one time Walla Walla was the capital for the Northwest Territories) the Walla Walla area is full of incredible outdoor opportunities.

*As a side note to learn more about the wilderness areas around SE Washington/NE Oregon visit Grant Ritchie’s (a Whitman alum and dear friend) webpage fishing and hiking. *

Prof Hutch

Sunday provided a perfect opportunity for exploration and team bonding as we joined the women’s team for some blackberry picking and a dutch oven dinner at Professor Hutchinson’s spread on the South Fork of the Walla Walla. Besides being an incredibly popular Whitman professor, Hutch is also a huge fan of Whitman athletics. He routinely shows up at a number of athletic competitions. Funny story — last year he was kicked out of a men’s basketball game!

The new Texas boys!

Turned out to be a great time for blackberries. We have had an unusually cool summer so the blackberries are ripening a bit late. Luckily everyone was able to find plenty of berries to fill bellies (seems more berries go bramble-to-belly than bramble-to-bucket) and to provide fruit for dessert.

Dutch Oven Dinner

While the men and women were out collecting berries and exploring the river, I got the dutch ovens ready for the dinner. I’m the first to admit that I’m a dutch oven rookie but I enjoy the experience of cooking outdoors over a fire. Honestly I was nervous about cooking for both teams. Besides preparing a new recipe I was also cooking for the women’s team. Over the years I’ve learned that guys get hungry in college and are grateful for any […]

What a great way to start the year!

With the first week of classes out the way the men’s and women’s tennis teams got together for an afternoon of mixed doubles and evening of blackberry picking. The evening was especially sweet (beyond the ripe berries) because the teams traveled to pick berries on Prof Delbert Hutchinson’s spread on the South Fork of the Walla Walla River. Hutch was Whitman’s 2010 convocation speaker so it was nice for everyone to spend time with him. Hutch’s convocation can be found here.
Once the berries were picked (I think a large majority of berries went vine to belly) we convened to the fire ring for conversation and dutch oven fresh blackberry cobbler. Speaking of dutch oven cobbler, here is Hutch’s no fail receipe:

warm-up dutch ovens in the fire
melt half a stick of butter in dutch oven
mix box of vanilla cake mix according to directions (one box per oven)
pour cake mix into the oven
pour in berries (the more the better)
put lid on dutch oven, place oven over coals and cover with hot coals
cook for 30 mins turning oven every 10 mins

The fresh blackberry cobbler was absolutely incredible!

Pictures from the evening