I woke up to 57 degrees, opened the windows, turned on the oven. Now the house smells of blueberries and butter.
It reminded me of a favorite post, with a much-loved recipe at the end. **
There is a huge advantage to having small children when berry picking season begins.
They are closer to the ground. They find the best strawberries.
That might have been the family strategy when we went out every year at about this time. We ate as many as we picked, most of our haul ended up as preserves, in the freezer.
Moving to Michigan, we learned that it is the second largest producer of blueberries in the US; the hot, humid climate and proximity to major lakes guarantees the successful crop.
So when invited for a day of berry picking, we headed to the coast.
We were renting a small place, no freezer, so I planned to pick only what I could use in the near future or give away.
That didn’t happen.
I took the largest containers I had, filled them to the brim.
My childhood berry picking memories took over, and I temporarily lost my mind.
And so it began. I wasn’t much for preserving, but I was happy to bake.
Blueberry muffins, cheesecakes, crumb-topped coffee cakes, overstuffed pies, pancakes and fresh syrup.
That was all in the first week.
We discovered, a bit too late, that blueberries are extremely rich in iron.
Anemic in childhood, I was force-fed iron rich foods. I knew about iron, beneficial and essential.
It also leads to interesting digestive issues.
I apologized to my husband. We got over it.
From that year on, I passed on the blueberry picking outing with friends.
I bought them by the pint, like everyone else with common sense.
Blueberry Crumb Cake
Mix 2 cups each of flour, oats, brown sugar. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda. Blend dry ingredients with 2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter until crumbly. Press 1/2 of mixture into greased 9×13 baking pan. Top with 3-4 cups blueberries. Cover berries with other 1/2 crumb mix. Bake 45 min. at 350 degrees.
Hehe, too much of a good thing…
Live and learn. ☺
That looks delicious. There is nothing like fresh blueberries. Yum! I didn’t know they were rich in iron either.
Their health benefits have been praised forever…just know your limit !!
Oooh, I’d have a freezer-full of blueberries if I could. They make awesome smoothies. And you get stains on your teeth and in the sink and everything!
I agree about the benefits of being short for berry picking. I’m 5’10” and not nearly as nimble as I used to be!
Ha ha, they are a challenge for the tall, not sure that there’s anything that grows quite that close to the ground. Blueberry teeth…had those. Thanks, Maggie ☺ Van
Sweet as berries. I love this piece. Thanks.
Glad you enjoyed it, Catherine. ☺
Oh but the fresh ones must have been so delicious Van! I love homemade blueberry cinnamon jam! ❤
They were good, Diana, especially right off the vine/bush. That’s where it started ! ☺ Van
Me too, John, just a few less at one sitting ! ☺
I love to pick wild berries in the forest. There’s usually just enough for a small snack. 🙂
Oh, I forgot about the wild berries…they were a favorite in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania…blackberries, I think. My aunt had property there. Thanks, Julie ☺
Blueberries are my favorite fruit. I can’t imagine bushes so high you don’t need to bend over! Yum.
It was a relief to stand up, Diana. Abundance. ❤️
I have strawberries I planted last year with one of my granddaughters. She was not here this year to pick them. Between the slugs and the birds, they had a feast! LOL!
Well, at least they didn’t rot on the vine. ☺…and you might have had some pretty pink bird droppings. ❤️
Craving them now! I actually put them on many things for their antioxidant properties. Don’t usually encounter digestive issues, so I guess I’m safe in the amount I’m eating! Wonderful post, Van. Love your personal stories. 🙂
Nice to hear it doesn’t affect everyone that way…it was “hard” on us, though. ☺ Thanks, Kelly. I find the personal stuff the most fun to write..kind of organic !
Hehehehehehe All things in moderation, Van. Oh this is too funny! I remember my berry picking days as a kid and by the time I and my brothers and sisters were done, our faces and hands were all stained. We ate as we picked. LOL Oh you brought some good memories back. Thank you!!! Love, Amy ❤
Sweet, sticky and blue memory. Glad you could appreciate it, Amy ❤️ My pleasure. ☺
Yes, well, the wild blueberries of New England are the low bush variety and oh, mama mia, are they ever good. So much better than the high bush berries, IMHO. Trouble is, you pick for an entire afternoon and end up with about 2/3 cup. Therefore, to the store I go. Hiho, hiho!
I’d venture to say that my berry picking days are numbered, Barbara. Now, in the fall…there are apples, as long as I don’t have to climb that tree ! ☺ Van
What a fun read! I can’t remember the last time I went berry picking….time to explore the local farms!
Just be careful out there !! lol ☺ Van
In the South we have wild Dewberries but you have to fight with the chiggers. They always win. Also snakes are out in the weedy places where dewberries grow. That is discouraging.
Dewberries ? That’s a new one to me. Do they taste like any other berry ? Must google. ☺
Compare to raspberry or blackberry, very sweet.
Okay…thanks, Linda. ☺ but the chiggers….
Oh, chiggers are tiny little bugs that attach when you brush against vegetation. They are blood suckers. When they fill, they are red. They itch like crazy. They leave lines anyplace elastic touches. They are horrible.
Oh, sorry, not to mislead..I am familiar with chiggers..my son used to get their bites often. What I meant was that the chiggers might not make the berries worth the effort. ☺ Thanks.
Oh, they made me give up
Makes me ready and hungry for blueberry season.
Oddly enough, me too, George. Thanks ☺
Loooooove blueberries! I’ve never picked them…just get mine at Costco. Sad, I know.
I get mine now at great discount at local farmers’ markets. New Jersey fresh for about $3. /quart. I freeze them on a cookie sheet, store in ziploc bags and use them all year. ☺
Happy for you! Feeling sorry for myself! 😀
I grew up with those markets, when we moved away, we never ate as well. That might be what’s slowing down our decision to retire elsewhere.
Hah! Now this is alot of fun (well, to read about anyway!). Looking forward to more of your posts!
Thanks so much for wandering about my site today, I am grateful. Welcome !
I tried growing blueberries but they were never productive for me. So, I tried raspberries and they shoot up new canes all of the time. As long as I get them before the birds do, the harvest will be good. Thanks for the recipe!
I actually eat way more raspberries, keep them in the freezer all year long. I have the wrong soil to grow them, but plenty of local sources. ☺
I had tons of them in the woods behind my house. I brought some into my garden and they’ve done very well. I’m also growing a yellow thornless variety that tastes really good, too.
So jealous here, Rob. But, we’ve come to a place of peace with the rabbit family under our deck. 💖
haha! One year we had a rabbit, and I thought it was going to eat my lettuce. It didn’t as it like the copious amounts of clover in my lawn much better!
Clover…hmmm. I wonder ??? Thanks.
haha Van, this was sweet and lovely! It’s so funny when we get into things like that! I am used to cooking for 11 so I tend to prepare so much and make huge amounts. I can imagine picking the berries right next to you! xx
Cooking for 11..I can only imagine. Hats off to you, Lynn. I learned to cook from my family of 8…the newlywed meals for 2 of us were hysterical..2 lbs. of pasta, 8 pork chops, buckets of mashed potatoes…I had to relearn. ☺
I really can see that, my daughter is in an apartment and when I see her pan of soup I just laugh! It is made for maybe 8!
There is an adjustment period. ☺
haha I am thinking there must be!
I go up to Michigan almost very year with my girlfriends and we bring back tons of blueberries to freeze. I didn’t know about the iron, though…
Be careful. ☺☺ Lessons learned, the hard way.
I definitely will 😀
Thank you Van! Will be in Michigan soon for an all day berry and lavender harvest day. We pick too much, just for the fun of it. Then freeze some, sell some, and give away some to neighbors and friends.
Will try your recipe today with Raspberries.
I’m almost out of my homemade raspberry/orange jam. I think I like making it more than eating it.
Where I grew up, around the Mediterranean we had a honey sweet berry, I’ll have to find the name of it in english. That didn’t come off a bush, we picked them climbing the branches of trees as tall as a five-floor building.
Oh, how wonderful to be able to reach up for those berries. Never heard of something that tall. Thanks, Sawsan. Hope you enjoy the recipe…I like the simplicity of it. ☺
Mulberry, my favorite were the white ones.
I’m drooling now 🙂
Ha,ha. Wisdom comes with experience. Thank you for the recipe. I’ll try this.
With experience, and a few intestinal cramps. ☺ Hope you enjoy it.
Oh, I love blueberries and all kinds of pastries which contains them. I have black currant in my garden. Due to the cool spring season and the still very wet weather they still need some time until we can pick them.
Blackberries grow wild here, especially in the mountains. So tasty. ☺
You live in paradise, Van!!! 😃
We do eat well…back to basics. ☺🍓
Love blueberries! I usually combine blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries in organic cottage cheese or organic steel cut oatmeal. They are a wonderful source of nutrition and help reduce oxidation and inflammation.
I like the way you incorporated the family story as well to humanize the entire experience. I realized by the time I finished reading, I had a nice smile on my face. Thank you for that! 🙂
Berries with cottage cheese and a side of grilled pita bread…my favorite breakfast, until the fresh cantaloupes arrive. Glad to make you smile, you’re most welcome. ☺
Memories of dirty knees and overstuffed with berries! Thank you Van 💛
My pleasure, Val. 🍓 🍓 🍓
Wow. You’ve triggered an onslaught of memories…. Thank you
💛 💙 💜 That’s just part of what we do, DK.
That recipe sounds amazing!
I like the simple ingredients. ☺
Berry picking is a mixed pleasure. We picked wild blackberries which are very thorny. They other bad part was the chiggers and ticks that picked us. Then there were snakes.
So often, it sounds like you live/grew up in a sort of “wild kingdom”. Love it. ☺
No kidding. We moved onto 124 acres of an ancient farm. The fields we grown up. It was open range. Ferrell hogs were everywhere. I was run up a tree more than once. Our nearest neighbor was a mile away. It was wild.
A wonderful way to live. Color me….envious. 💛 💙 💜
Fresh blueberries are wonderful! 😊
For sure, but with a bit of moderation. Thanks, Tonya. ☺
How wonderful I can’t even imagine picking wild blueberries!! Jealous of 57 degrees! 8:38 pm and still 93 degrees. Love the recipe and will have to make some this fall. You should make some easy blueberry Jam in the crockpot. Blueberries, sugar, vanilla. Crock pot on low all night.
I’d do a freezer jam, but my family canned a lot of stuff, some “didn’t make it”… memories of minor explosions of tomato. ☺
57 degrees sounds good!
I agree !! We had it again this a.m. Loving it. ☺☺☺
Lucky you! Right now it’s 87 degrees here. No likey. Got my AC on full blast.