Blackberry Crumble

“Where do you want to walk today, Tiko,” I asked him as we headed out the gate. But no need to wonder. Up on the hill was a gaggle, a gaggle? A murder? A wake. A wake of dark, black old vultures. I counted 19 in a matter of just a few seconds. So we walked up that incline to the top of the hill which overlooks our valley. All the vultures, except two, took off, which is always so beautiful to me to hear their rush of wings overhead. But two stayed in the tree, just over Tiko’s head. One looking down at Tiko with a weary eye, head tucked into his Batman-like shoulders draping the severe, black cape. I stood for several minutes, listening in the way of the animal-whisperer, practicing, hoping to see pictures of their story. I need to keep practicing being empty to hear it. But someday I will! And then they took off, and I looked down to see one black present of a feather, 26 cm. long! I measured it! What a gift.

Recipe of the Day – Blackberry Crumble



1 c. walnuts

1/4 c. shredded coconut

3 soaked dates, pitted

pinch vanilla powder or 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch Himalayan salt



1 c. fresh blackberries

3  soaked dates, pitted

1 T. raw honey



For the crumble, soak all the dates for 10 minutes or more. In a food processor, process the dry ingredients. Add the dates and vanilla until mixture forms a ball. You can add a tiny bit of water, tea or coconut/almond milk if it needs it.  Transfer 1/2 of the mixture into a bowl and set aside.  The remaining half, press into a 6-inch round cake pan to form a crust.

For the filling. process the dates, honey and 1/2 cup blackberries until well-mixed. Add the rest of the blackberries and pulse 2-3 times to leave it a bit chunky. Pour gently over the crust, then top with the remaining crumble.

Word of the Day –  Here in Vilca it’s guishco – vulture.

Tip of the Day – The term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee, volt, and venue refer to vultures resting in trees. Wake is reserved for a group of vultures that are feeding.

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