September 20, 2017


The Riverview Horticultural Centre Society hosts an Annual Treefest to bring attention to their mission to preserve and protect the Lands and Trees of the Riverview Hospital complex.

In 1912 John Davidson, Provincial Botanist, created western Canada’s first botanical garden and arboretum on the Essondale Hospital grounds, now called Riverview Hospital.   Located in Coquitlam British Columbia, the Arboretum is a collection of specimens from all over the world.

September 10th 2017 was the 24th year of the Treefest.  An on-going tradition was to serve blackberry tea and blackberry compote on cake – the berries being harvested from Finnie’s Garden within Riverview.

Mary (l) serving blackberry compote on cake - with Connie (r)

The lovely ladies who were serving the compote said they picked the berries every other day in August.
Connie shared her recipe for the Blackberry Compote Recipe
·         12 cups fresh blackberries
·         Squirt I or 2 lemon juice
·         Cup of white sugar depending on tartness of berries
·         Heat in stove – do not add water
·         Blend in blender
·         Then add 12 cups of fresh blackberries to give texture to final compote

Mary said she is more measured with the sugar.  She starts with 10 cups of fresh blackberries and pours initially 1/3 cup sugar - then more depending on the tartness of the berries.

Connie said, “I guess you can use the same recipe for other types of berries but I haven’t tried.”

A 1 ½ inch square block of Vanilla Cake from Costco was smothered with Blackberry Compote - topped with a swirl of whipped cream (CAD$3.50).   Verdict?  Good with the Berries Blend Herbal Tea (CAD$0.50).

Donna was in charge of the beverages.  She said she gets her tea from a Maple Ridge tea store simply called T’s – see their web site  This year there was no pure blackberry tea so she had to settle with a blend which contains the blackberry essence together with bilberry, elderberry and more. 

On my way back, Connie generously offered me a tub of the compote at no charge.  Thrilled, with trepidation, I held the tub gingerly on the trip home.

One morning I had it on waffles – not a good pairing as I thought it would be because the waffles did not defuse the tartness of the compote.  Took some compote with me to a bakery – saw the cheesecake but decided on the French Crullers.  Better,  

Next time I will try the Blackberry Compote with vanilla ice cream, grilled pork, baked salmon, perhaps pancakes, French Toast, oatmeal, cheesecake, banana-blueberry bread or even low-fat sour cream.  Any other pairing ideas?

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