It’s easy as pie – really. But that doesn’t explain the numerous little pink scratches criss-crossing my arms which simultaneously eroded the popular productivity principles that I’ve spent a career mastering.
Sally's Blackberry Pie
Oh sure, we had a goal and since Sally had been baking before we arrived, we could also visualize the goal but I think that’s where it ended. We weren’t well organized. Despite the buckets that we carried with us, we had no productivity metrics except the occasional shout of delight, “oh mom, every here! They’re everywhere.”
The plan had no gant chart. We simply walked to the top of the hill, spotted the berries and began picking. There was nothing efficient about the process. Pick here. Then pick over there. Quality control? That happened when one of those berries hung so heavily from the vine that it looked like it might melt in our hands before it made it to the bucket. It never did make it.
At some point, we realized that we could use an implement so after borrowing clippers from the neighbors, we familiarized ourselves with the use in order to avoid any OSHA recordable. We passed them up and down the line in a haphazard fashion that would saw the edge off any time and motion study. An unexpected garter snake sent two of us out of our Tevas.
And so, in our post-picking
debrief glory complete with purple fingers, we reviewed our outcomes; a sunny blue day, family time, full tummies and berries to build pies and tarts and smoothies and a completely new definition of KPIs.
Where else might we benefit by throwing out what we’ve learned about efficiency in order to obtain a glorious breakthrough outcome?
- Blackberries from Harstine edited by CRH
Adapted from Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook
- 1 9 inch pie crust (optional)
- 6 – 8 cups of fresh blackberries
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 and 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350. In order to prebake the crust, place a piece of waxed paper on the unbaked crust and add 2 cups of dried beans spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and wax paper and bake for 10 more minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. (I have also used a pre-made graham cracker crust with great results)
Place 2 cups of the berries in a Vitamix or food processor. Add 1/3 cup of sugar and blend. Taste and add more sugar if desired.
Put the remaining cups of berries in the cooled pie shell and spread them evenly.
Put cornstarch into a saucepan and whisk in the pureed berries with sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and stir constantly for 5 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from the heat and pour over the berries in the crust. Allow to return to room temperature before serving. Enjoy while abandoning all learned productivity measures.