NARBA’s current featured recipe,  for Blackberry-Almond Bruschetta, is not very complicated as recipes go. Not a lot of ingredients, and simple steps. And it’s very flexible: You can use fresh or frozen berries. You can use any kind of French bread. You can use raspberries OR blackberries (or substitute peaches or strawberries). And you could probably substitute vanilla for almond extract, and walnuts or pecans for the sliced almonds and end up with something pretty yummy. That’s the kind of recipe I like.

But even simpler is what I had for breakfast recently: bagels with cream cheese and a handful of fresh wild blackberries pressed into the cream cheese. It never hurt that I was on vacation on the Olympic Peninsula, in a rustic cottage overlooking a bay, and that I had just picked the blackberries, dead ripe and very sweet. It was a spur-of-the-moment invention (and the inspiration for then choosing the Bruschetta for our featured recipe).  I will be trying it again at home — and it may be bagels and blackberries or maybe some other variation.


It reminded me of my all-time favorite, the Raspberry Jam Sandwich. No, it’s not what you think, and I don’t have a picture. I learned about it from a grower years ago. As she described it: You take two pieces of bread, put a thick layer of raspberries on one of them, and then jam the other piece of bread on top.

As you can imagine, it is great for kids to make themselves.  It works best with a soft white bread, and variations include sprinkling sugar on the berries, drizzling on honey, and/or spreading a layer of cream cheese or  before adding the berries. Or marshmallow spread, or ricotta. Or maybe peanut butter? Or Nutella– I’ve seen a picture for that. Or, an open-face version with whipped cream. Kids would go crazy with that one!