Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mainely Blueberries

Every summer I come to Maine, I head to the berry patches.  Mostly, I find Black Berries in the wild and some small few Blueberries along hedgerows.  To make jam, I usually buy large quantities of berries from the grocers or road-side stands which proliferate everywhere along my routes to and fro.  This year, I made a new friend, Polly.  She invited me to pick to my heart's content on her huge Blueberry Barrens.  Yippee!!!

Polly and her husband had "burned off" the barrens in front of their hilltop retreat last year.  Like Phenix from the ashes, this year's crop of BB has risen beautifully and in bounty.  Using the professional pickers' rakes, we filled two big pails in just 15 minutes!

Turns out, Nelson likes BlueBerries too.  Once I gave him just one, he began his own harvest.

Picking was the easy part.
Cleaning was a different story.

The "rake" works by skimming the berries from the bush thru the tines, gathering the harvest in a narrow tray at the back.  One can easily amass a quart or more in several sweeps over laden bushes.  The stickler is, along with berries, the harvest includes leaves, twigs, and.....

wildlife of all sorts!
Cleaning our speedy harvest of two pails took over an hour.

Then to the kitchen!
Blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

Blueberry cake for lunch.

Blueberry Popovers for Supper.

Couldn't get enough!!

of course,
JAM-  three batches of JAM.

This year's harvest brings bittersweet memories of Mum.  Her nickname forever was 
"The Blueberry Kid". 
I am happy to take over where she left off, appreciating the blue-black gold of the berry harvest.

Are you a berry fanatics like me and my Mum?

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