The Blackberry Fence Hopper

blackberry cocktail 5Here is yet another little tidbit about me….

I am highly claustrophobic.

But I’m in good company, because it runs in my family, Can I say that I inherited it? I’m not so sure, because my parents aren’t claustrophobic. But I have a couple of aunts and some cousins who are. And honestly, I’m not sure that it is something that can be inherited.

It’s not a fun thing, and I never know when something is going to set me off. I mean, my co-workers aren’t surprised to see my jewelry lying on my desk, because there are times when my brain decides that I can’t breathe because I’m wearing a necklace. Now how silly is that? I know it’s silly. But my brain doesn’t. In itself, it’s thinking it can’t get my lungs to breathe.

My whole wardrobe is styled around this claustrophobia…it has to be something that I know I can take off quickly, if panic happens to set in.

blackberry cocktail 6My poor friends have been on the receiving end of it too. Take, for instance, this little scenario a couple of years ago….

The setting is in the backseat of a car after running with my friends: Cindy, Rob, and Karen. I had my knee wrapped from a muscle strain… and had taped it so that the bandage wouldn’t move while I was running. We had just gotten in the car, and Cindy was in the back seat with me… I looked down and noticed that the tape had twisted a bit, and I couldn’t see the end of it to start to pull it off… and…. my brain decided at that moment I couldn’t breathe because I couldn’t find the end of the tape..

“Cindy, I can’t breathe… can you help me get this tape off?” I ask a touch panicked.
“Okay, let me help you get that off” She replies, calmly, but maybe with a little laughter…knowing that I am claustrophobic.
“You need to get it off now..” I tell her, a little more panicked.
“I’m trying!” She says, a little less calm, but with a little more laughter added.
“Does anybody have scissors?” I cry out in complete panic mode.

Karen starts rummaging through her bag, because she’s quite certain she has scissors in there. Cindy is fumbling with the tape… and they’re all laughing, and I mean, laughing hard. A girl couldn’t ask for more empathetic friends… Karen finds the scissors, and Cindy cuts the tape from my knee, freeing my lungs of their imaginary burden…

Crisis averted.
And we all laughed.

blackberry cocktail 2And then there was the time many years ago, when I was working as the secretary at the local newspaper in Lockport. I should begin by saying that the editor at the time was a very grumpy man. Most of us did everything we could to avoid him. Well, at least I did everything to avoid him.

So, once in a while, my mom would stop with some piece of clothing or jewelry for me that she had just picked up while shopping… and this particular day, it was the cutest little dress. She dropped it off, and said to try it on during lunch, and then I could return it after work for a different size or different dress if I didn’t like it. It was a pullover, which was good, because there were no buttons or zipper to worry about.

I went into the ladies room to try the dress on. After I put it on, I realized that it was a little snug, but decided that I really loved the dress, and would stop after work to get the next size up. I went to pull the dress off over my head…

And it got stuck.
Of course it did.

It was stuck just at the shoulders, my arms high above my head, the dress covering my face. I did everything I could to get that dress over my head, but it was stuck tight.

I stood there for what felt like 15 minutes, in my bra and panties…and a dress covering my head, my arms stuck…waiting for someone to come walking into the ladies room to help me get the dress off… but I’m certain it was more like a milli-second…because panic had set in (there is no concept of time in panic mode).

At that point, there was only one thing that made sense to me (panic mode isn’t always sensible)… and that was to LEAVE the ladies room and get the first person to help me get the dress off of me. At that point, my brain imagined that I couldn’t breathe.

I did.
I left the ladies room with the dress up around my shoulders and face, and my arms flailing over my head.

I mean…could there be anything worse that might happen?
Of course there could.

I ran smack dab into the editor.

Of course I did.
I hit him head-on…that grumpy editor.

At that point, I didn’t care who it was…and in my panic, I asked him to help me get the dress off, that it was stuck and I couldn’t breathe.

Of course he did.
He helped me remove the dress, freeing my lungs of their imaginary burden.
And I was mortified for the rest of that day.
And he wasn’t grumpy for the rest of that day.

But… it was another crisis averted.
I avoided him all I could after that incident.
He smiled whenever he saw me after that incident.

blackberry cocktail 4Now don’t misunderstand…I’m not always in panic mode, and that was the only time it was clothing influenced. Okay, that’s not entirely true…there was the time that involved a dress, a zipper, a seatbelt, and a funeral home…but that’s a story for another day…. Usually it’s necklaces, bracelets, and rings that give me trouble, and they’re very easy to remove. It’s rare that I go into a panic attack…but needless to say, that there are times like that when I like to wind down with a little drinkie-poo. I’m not a heavy drinker…a lightweight, they call me….

I tend to like sweet cocktails…and usually something fruity…
This beautiful and delicious Blackberry Fence Hopper is exactly the kind of cocktail that I like..
blackberry cocktail 1
A couple of weeks ago, Katie and Ryan were at the cabin, and he was telling me about this great book that Katie brought home for him from Boston, called: “Shake (A new perspective on cocktails)” by Eric Prum and Josh Williams…and he talked me into buying it.  Well… he offered to let me borrow his copy for a little while… but I was too excited to wait so I bought it online right then and there….I’m glad he thought to tell me about it…. What a great book. Seriously.

ShakeAt first I bought the Kindle version on Amazon.  I had it sent to my phone… you know…for something to read while I was at the cabin. I didn’t put it down until I had read the whole book. It’s such a great read, that I had to order the hard copy for myself… It’s filled with some really great cocktail recipes, and they outline the essentials of a well stocked bar….and now I’m slowly stocking up on everything.

Starting with vodka…

This cocktail is right up my alley. The fresh blackberries and honey work together to create the perfect amount of that blackberry sweetness, while the lemon adds just the right amount of tart. It’s truly a delicious drink…one that I know I’ll continue to enjoy for a long time to come.

…And…. they believe that “cocktails can and should be fun, for all occasions”. Even a dress removing. Well, okay…. they didn’t come out and say a dress removing in the book…but I’m sure that they’d agree that it’s funny….and totally deserving of a cocktail!

Life is good. It’s a “You just can’t make this stuff up” kind of good…

blackberry cocktail 3

The Blackberry Fence Hopper
From the cocktail book “Shake” by Eric Prum and Josh Williams
Check out their website: The Mason Shaker

Makes 2 Drinks

2 shots vodka
1 shot fresh lemon juice
1 shot wildflower honey
8 fresh blackberries (plus 4 for garnish)
2 slices of lemon (for garnish)

i. Add the lemon juice, honey, and blackberries to the shaker.

ii. Muddle the ingredients in the bottom of the shaker until thoroughly crushed.

iii. Add the vodka and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

iv. Strain the mixture into tumblers containing large cubes of ice, top with seltzer, and garnish with remaining blackberries and lemon slices.

blackberry cocktail 5

79 thoughts on “The Blackberry Fence Hopper

  1. Prudy you have me rolling on the floor, I am sorry to laugh at your demise but it’s really funny,it even put a smile on grumpy boss face. Looks like a great book and I love the cocktail, blackberries are my favorite berry. Right up my alley too!

    • Haha.. Suzanne… I’m glad it made you laugh, because that was my intention… ❤ Thank you so much. It really is a great book. You should have seen the size of the blackberry that Katie picked a few weeks ago… I bet it was 4" long! I never did ask her how it was, whether it was too tart, or if it was sweet. ❤

  2. Ha! Great minds think alike… I just posted Blackberry Bourbon Blast recipe on my blog! lol! Your recipe is it’s vodka cousin! I love your pictures, story and awesome recipe! I will try your vodka version with the rest of my garden blackberries! Yum! Cheers! 😉

  3. You have my utmost sympathy Prudy, I’ve got a terrible fear of heights and it takes nothing to kick in. Five steps up a ladder and my legs starts to shake. It has caused me real embarrassment only once but I blush when I think of it still event though it must be about 35 years ago.
    My family have a lot of English friends who often come to visit in the summer and one time two young girls, daughter of some of my parents friends came over. I was ordered to show them the town, something I had nothing against of course. One thing we did was go up in the Tryvann Tower, a tall tower on a hill top outside of town with a marvelous view.
    Standing there and looking straight forward caused me no problem, but the windows in the tower leaned outwards at nearly 45 degrees and I was stupid enough to lean forward looking straight down.
    I was hit by a terrible vertigo and fainted slipping down the wall to the floor. Not a very macho thing to do.;-)

    • Oh no Ted!! Lol.. It’s not funny..but it’s funny. 🙂 I’m sure the pretty girls helped you up..

      It isn’t fun having something like claustrophobia or a fear of heights, because it keeps you from doing things that you really want to be a part of.. It’s just something that you learn to live with and work around! ❤️

    • Ahh…hahahaha! thanks so much Tracey! Valium… 🙂 make it a double! Panic is terrible at the time, but then I can step back afterward and see just how ridiculous it really was! I mean, seriously… tape around a knee does not affect the lung function at all… but when you’re in panic mode, you just cannot see that! Lol. I believe we need to be friends Tracey. thanks so much for those kind words. ❤

  4. Ah Prudy- it’s so good to read about somebody else who has just as many hilarious, if not slightly embarrassing stories about their lives as I do. It makes me feel so excited to see when you’ve put up another post. I genuinely look forward to it ❤

    Great post. Great recipe. Great story. Great you 😉

  5. Sweetheart, have you ever considered your own sitcom??? I’m sure these experiences are not funny at the time, but they make a great tale to tell long after the event – and only you can tell them so brilliantly 🙂
    I can totally sympathise with being stuck in a dress, I can remember vividly when that’s happened to me and the panic that sets in, and I’m not claustrophobic! And I also wasn’t in an office full of people!! I’m sure your editor loved you forever more…! xxx

    • My lovely friend… can you imagine me in a sitcom? Haha! There would be so many shouts of “CUT!!!” and retakes of a single part in an episode, that the production company would go out of business! Or better yet, they’d have to do a sitcom of the crazy sitcom!! 🙂 It is my nature to be a little clumsy…and a little crazy. But it’s always in fun. Except for the panic attacks. They are very real at the time, but always a good laugh afterward!

      It’s not that I’m happy that you were stuck in a dress, but it’s nice to know that others can understand what panic feels like… and that I don’t have to be embarrassed about it as I once was! I guess misery really does love company!! ❤

  6. Oh wow! What a story to tell, Prudy. It sounds like right off from a bestselling book! Hilarious yet I’m very sorry you feel like that from time to time!
    I love this recipe, it definitely sounds like something I would enjoy very much as well. And I like you pictures, well done!! 🙂 Have a lovely day!

  7. Haha I’m sorry for laughing but that bit of your editor not being grumpy got me XD
    I used to get super claustrophobic in elevators, I would imagine that we would get stuck, I could rarely go to one alone… But now I live in a building and I got used to it. I am more claustrophobic when I can’t move, like something is on my hand and I can’t release it RIGHT THIS SECOND, then I get like aaaaa… I don’t get how people let other people to tape them to a wall or something, I would yell 😀

    • Hello Sweet Ivy! Thank you so much for sharing your claustrophobia..while it’s not good that you have it too…it’s just nice to know that you understand where I’m coming from!! I am truly a mess in an elevator… well, on the inside I am… on the outside, I appear to be cool as a cucumber, but my insides are screaming “Get me out of here!!”.. And…. Oh my gosh… yeah, tying me down would not be a good thing. I’m not very strong physically…but I think that my super human strength would come out in me, if someone were to hold me down!! ❤

  8. Lol, Prudy…sorry…lol. Wonderful, delightful, hilarious, post…though I do feel for you. I thought I suffered from claustrophobia, until I read through your extreme bouts. I’m simply the no turtleneck and no small space type of claustrophobic… Glad you’re able to laugh, even if it’s after the fact.
    And this drink…sounds seriously satisfying…delicious! I need to order that book. 🙂

    • Hello my lovely friend… claustrophobia, regardless if it’s a “no turtleneck and no small space” … to a “I can’t breathe because I have a ring on my finger, that has absolutely nothing to do with my lungs whatsoever, but my brain feels the need to send me into an unreasonable amount of panic over it” is a big thing. I’ve gone to the doctor for this, but he tends to want to put me on “mind altering” drugs… no thank you. I’d rather work through it…and with the help of my friends and family who know that I have these attacks…and they know exactly what to do… like they did for me in the car. Laugh. Talk to me. take my mind off of what I think is pressing on my lungs… and it works! ❤ Thank you so much.

  9. Awesome photos, delicious-sounding cocktail and very funny claustrophobia stories. To which I can relate because I also suffer terribly. Do you ever get feet claustrophobia? I do – which means that I walk around in fitflops in the middle of winter or often barefoot if I’ve had a foot panic attack. I even got proxy claustrophobia for my baby when I was pregnant. Go figure 😉

    • Oh my gosh…Yes!! I’m always barefoot, or in flipflops! I cannot stand to have my feet covered at all, so most of the time I have the blankets at the foot of my bed loose, so that I can keep my feet outside of them! Lol… Proxy claustrophobia for your baby? Oh boy… talk to me. I’ve never heard of that…

      • Yes I have to have loose blankets too or I literally go crazy (I put my foot though a sheet once in sheer pediclaustrophic panic). I’m so telling my husband – he maintains I’m unique (not in a good way 😉 ) with my foot ‘condition’.

  10. I know how you feel, I’m claustrophobic too, and listen to this- two months ago I went with my boyfriend to visit his parents. At night they put all the blinds down, because in France they do that everywhere, they can’t sleep otherwise, I woke up in the middle of the night and I realised that I couldn’t see A THING, so I jumped out of the bed and started screaming like hell!! I didn’t care that I woke up the whole house. I couldn’t take my breath, it was terrible 😀 yummy drink by the way, and I love your pictures!

  11. I said this before and I’ll say it again you should be selling DosEquis…you truly are the most interesting woman in the world….the vodka in this drink peaks my interest…is it wrong that I’m still laughing?…😄

  12. All fears are irrational, but they are very real to the people who have them. I’m that way with heights. I JUST CAN’T DO IT. I think I need a drink just thinking out it. Love the way you tell a story lady. Your too funny.

    • It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it? Especially if you’re with friends and family who are doing things, that you want to be a part of, but your fears and anxiety just won’t let you. We were on a Hoover Dam tour a few years back, and there was a section in which you went down inside the dam. There were signs all over the place that said “If you are claustrophobic, do not enter here”…. So I ended up sitting outside waiting for everyone to come out… having a total pity party for myself! haha! ❤

  13. Laughing with you is always the best medicine, but this drink recipe looks delicious. Time to go berry picking. Sissors should be in everyone’s car don’t ya think? Love.

    • Do you remember that little incident, Karen? Haha! If I can’t make a fool of myself in front of my friends…. then who can I make a fool in front of? Thank goodness you are well prepared… Love you. Miss you guys. ❤ Let's get together real soon… maybe we can meet for lunch?

  14. LOL, Prudy! And way to go! You un-grumpied your editor! Think of it as a little service for your co-workers :-). You are hilarious! It’s always a safe bet to visit you whenever I need a little laugh or lift.

    The blackberry fence hopper sounds so yum and refreshing. Love that name, too! ❤

  15. OMG – I am wiping away tears, Prudy. Tears of sympathy of course and not, ahem, laughter! You probably made that editor’s year – no wonder he smiled every time he saw you!! Lovely recipe and the book sounds marvellous as well. Apparenlty kindle books come up with photos on the iPad. I wouldn’t know as I have resisted the urge this far to have another bit of electronic kit to fight Jake for possession of!

  16. Oh Prudy! Your stories have me laughing, but I also know how it is to feel claustrophobic. I get that way, too, and often have to take my necklace off midday because I feel like I might choke sometimes! I feel for you! The drink looks gorgeous!

  17. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your story. I even forgot about the blackberry fence hopper. The grumpy editor must have giggled the whole day long and the rest of the week. The cocktail sounds delicious and I really love the photos. You make me want to try it straight away. Have a fabulous week!

  18. Your dress story is soo funny! I’m claustrophobic too and have had the tight dress experience! So I went into panic just reading your story! I love the beauty of this cocktail, so refreshing. I will have to check out that book too!

  19. I’m afraid I’m just as empathetic as your friends, because your story had me laughing out loud! At least you made the grumpy editor perk up a bit?? Haha. I’ve seen that book and have been SO tempted to buy it! Guess now I have to! This drink looks so refreshing…can’t wait to try it!

  20. You’ve inspired me to up my cocktail-making game! This sounds delicious and I’ve been looking for a good cocktail to make at home but never know where to start.

  21. Haha …Prudy! What funny stories!! I can relate though. I am also claustrophobic also. Mine is mostly on the road in the car. I can not get stuck in heavy traffic. You know the kind that is moving like 10 miles per hour or less. If I do I will go in panic mode. I feel trapped because I can’t move my car …I am stuck there. Once I was in a fast food drive through and it was taking a long time because the cashiers tape broke or something. Anyway it had been like 10 minutes and I went into panic mode. I had to get out of there. I had people in front and in back of me …so I got out of my car and made everyone behind me back up so I could get out. My sister said …you know you are not really stuck, you can get of your car. Which is true sometimes …but if you are stuck in traffic on a freeway you really can’t get out. Anyway, It has gotten a lot better. But it is a work in progress. Good to hear that I am not alone! Love the stories, especially the second one and love, love the refreshing delicious looking cocktails. ❤

  22. I know it isn’t funny when it is happening to you but your story definitely gave me a chuckle. The cocktail does sound like it would have a calming effect. 🙂

  23. Your stories are so good! But I do feel bad about your claustraphobia! You are a trooper though, you laugh about it as much as you can and you share your stories with us! As for these drinks, now THAT’s the way you celebrate Fiesta Friday- may I have a one…. or two? 🙂

  24. Hey prudy! 😀 🙂 i really enjoyed reading your stories here. I just couldnt stop laughing after reading the dress incident. Sorry, but couldnt help it. You are soo funny. Love the way you narrated the story. I felt i was also there in the scene. Hehe!

    The drink sounds like a yummy one. I love blackberry in drinks. 🙂

  25. What a great post Prudy. This is really wierd, I just started following you, yet I’ve commented on your posts quite a few times, but did not realize that you hadn’t come up on the reader for me. So I put an end to that, from now on I’ll be receiving your posts fresh from your blog :).

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