My New Happy: Port Orchard Family Reunion & Blackberry Crisp Recipe

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Port Orchard Family Reunion & Blackberry Crisp Recipe

Today I'm very excited to have a guest post from Susan of the most - - of every moment. Susan was one of the first people I "met" when I started blogging, and we have become friends.  Her blog is the first one I read every morning, and you should go check her out because I know you will enjoy it as much as I do!  Thank you Susan...

I am so honored that Lana has asked me to "guest post" for her today.  I absolutely love her blog, and checking to see what she has posted is one of the first things I do every morning.

Since Lana is from the Seattle area, I have decided to write about a time when my family vacationed in Washington State.

Photography on the beach

Family Reunions

It is a ritual for many families to get together once a year.  These reunions may be just of parents and siblings, or of a large lineage of cousins many times removed.  I can remember attending a huge reunion of my grandmother's side of the family in Pennsylvania as a child, where literally hundreds of people gathered for a picnic.  I only knew my immediate family and few cousins, but it was fun.

I have three sisters, who all have families of their own, and we live in various cities/states/countries.  With my parents, there are 17 of us.  Ever since our children were small, we have made an annual effort to get together.  Renting a house for almost two dozen people is no easy task, but we have found fun and interesting properties each year.  A house in which to spread out facilitates socializing, eases the tensions that might otherwise result in a cramped space, and can be less expensive for a large group than staying in hotel rooms.

Kayaks were a wonderful amenity at this vacation rental home!

Port Orchard, Washington

In 2010, Port Orchard, Washington was our destination of choice.  The house we rented had a large balcony overlooking a small strip of private beach.  The Pacific Ocean is cold even in August, but the kids swam a little, we kayaked in the bay, and the rope swing that hung out over the water was often in motion!  We fondly remember the three dogs that adopted us that week, and less fondly recall the huge spiders we kept finding in the house - all of which we captured and released outside!

My fearless son on the rope swing
There were BIG spiders!
Lucy-dog adopted us during our stay!

Another bonus of the property were the amazing blackberry bushes that we found!  After picking as many berries as our containers would hold, we headed back to the house to make a Blackberry Crisp.  The kitchen was well-stocked, and a deep-dish pie plate served as the perfect container in which to bake our dessert.  I wrote down the recipe we invented after we made it.  It may never taste quite as special to us again however, as it did when made with the berries we picked during our wonderful reunion.  Perhaps you will have your own memorable occasion to use this recipe, and you can then rename it with the location of where you were when you baked it!


Port Orchard Blackberry Crisp                 


4 cups blackberries
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of berries)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 TBSP flour plus 1 cup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Combine first 3 ingredients plus 2 tbsp. flour.  Pour berry mixture into a lightly greased deep-dish pie plate (or other suitable sized baking dish).  Blend 1 cup flour, brown sugar and butter - mix until crumbly.  Sprinkle flour mixture over berries.  Bake 30 minutes until bubbly, and crisp is brown.  (May need to brown under broiler briefly).  Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Do you have a recipe you associate with a favorite vacation memory?

Photo credits:  W. Casal.


  1. That looked like way fun and the recipe looks deelish!

    1. Thanks Carol - let Lana and I know if you try it :)

  2. I love the notion of swinging wildly and freely on a ripe swing, then winding down with a fresh, piping hot blackberry dessert...a la mode...

    What an absolutely glorious and delicious experience!

  3. Oh my goodness your crisp sounds amazing! I have never visited Washington, but really want to go some day. Love your pictures.

    1. I love vacationing in both Washington and Arizona - in very different ways!

  4. A fun memory AND a new and delicious recipe? Sounds like the perfect reunion to me! And I'm definitely trying that recipe! :)

    1. It was pretty perfect~! I bet Lana is having a wonderful time on her vacation too! I hope you like the recipe if you try it Diane!

  5. Our family was very small when I was growing up. Immediate family only. No grandparents, no aunts/uncles/cousins. So family reunions weren't a happening thing.
    The family is growing now - and perhaps this is something we could explore. And the blackberry crisp is DEFINITELY something I should explore.

  6. That looks awesome and delicious! Love the rope swing, too!

    1. The rope swing was pretty cool - the kids all spent a lot of time on it!

  7. I miss having big family get togethers. My husbands family was huge and it's dwindled so much.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that Rena - but soon you will add 2 more family members, right?! :)

  8. We used to have a cousins reunion, and it was always at someone's house all the cousins and my sister live here on long island except for two cousins who live in Texas and Pennsylvania yet for many years we would get together lately no one has offered to host - I wish we can do it..maybe soon lovely post -

    1. Keeping those family ties is important. ; I hope you can figure out a way to all get together. Thanks for the compliment Marisa ... Lana's blog is a pretty awesome place to have it posted :)


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