Monday, July 18, 2011
I didn't do any u-pick strawberry picking this year...what we grew in our strawberry patch was what we got. I just couldn't stomach the u-pick prices this year. A sacrifice, really, since we have no strawberries left from winter.
I figured I would make up the difference with huckleberries. (Huckleberries are much like blueberries except they are much much smaller (and more flavorful). And they happen to grow by the hundreds, at my in-laws, where the u-pick price happens to be FREE.
But this year, a late hailstorm knocked many of the buds from the trees at flowering time resulting in a VERY. BAD. YEAR.
Nevertheless, without strawberries OR blueberries to brighten up meals, winter will drag more slowly and drearily than it already does~ so I had to TRY.
Saturday, we headed to his parents' place. Of course, once we got there the mobile children all vanished. Grandmas take grandchildren swimming and hiking, you know. So much for many hands make light work.
Matt started splitting this years firewood supply so I plopped Judah in a portapack nearby and to the buzz of the chainsaw, I went picking.
If you duct tape a bucket to your middle, you have both hands free for the picking.
Whereas in previous years you can grab handfuls of berries at a time, this year you could pinch only one or two at a time. It took for.EVER. Judahbear, as usual, was a gem. He was content to watch me and play quietly until he dropped off for a nice nap.
Gary, my father-in-law, said he figured I would only find about a pint worth. I came out with about 6 quarts.
Matt eventually took a break from the wood to grab a few handfuls for me too. That was nice.
But next year, I am going to put my foot down and say "pickin' before swimmin' ".
(( I never can or jam our blueberries. Instead, I prefer to freeze them. Then, throughout the year I toss a few frozen ones into pancakes, quickbreads, muffins, smoothies or put on top of yogurt for a fresh 'taste' of summer. Flash freeze them by putting them on a cookie sheet, freezing and THEN bagging them. Thataway, they don't stick together in huge globs once frozen!))