Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blueberry Girls

We were supposed to be focusing on this:
But mostly we were doing this:We went to a great u-pick blueberry patch about half an hour southwest of town yesterday, with tall blueberry bushes and big fat blueberries and tadpoles in deep wagon ruts filled with water. Heaven.Oddly enough (or perhaps not), it seemed like everyone else from Bloomington was there, as well, including a few families we see around town regularly (I call this the Mom Circuit--public library, Wonderlab, park, pool), some Montessori families, and my dear blog friend Cake. It was a delicious morning for blueberry picking.

We made it home with 13+ pounds of blueberries. We dropped a quart or so off with Matt to sustain him throughout his afternoon of work, and Sydney carried around her own personal basket chock-full of blueberries that she, herself, had picked, for the entire day, munching and munching--I finally found it in the yard near dusk, empty.

The surviving blueberries got washed and laid out to dry:

And of those that survived that, about half got packed into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, stuffed full, and put in the chest freezer for those blueberry cravings that inconveniently surface themselves in the winter.

I'm dying to use my brand-new pressure cooker and canning stuff to preserve some blueberries, but I'm not in love by the amount of sugar that jam requires. Any ideas for healthy methods to preserve blueberries?


cake said...

i love that long shot of the girls running in the field! i forgot to bring my camera.

FYI, the low-methoxyl pectin i found at bloomingfoods requires as little as 3/4 cup of sugar, or honey, per 4 cups of mashed berries. or, you could just can the blueberries, with no sugar, and it would probably be a bit more like a sauce than a jam. but, still yummy, i imagine.

knock on my door, or email if you need any info or recipes. we have several books on food preservation. last year, i tried to get some from the library, and they were ALL checked out, with holds 3 or 4 deep!

so nice to get to chat through the berry bushes!

golfinggma said...

I HAVE to take avery to do this! my dad has a bunch of blueberry bushes, so we have access to TONS of blueberries...but would be fun to go to a real live berry patch.

bloomington rocks for families in the summer time!

Anonymous said...

We just bought a new pressure canner too! Good old Kleindorfer's has it all. ;)

Unknown said...

I like the picture of Sydney where it looks like she used her chest as a napkin to wipe the blueberry juice.

julie said...

Yes, I should start just incorporating bibs into the fronts of all the dresses I make for her.

We're DEFINITELY going black raspberry picking this weekend, and probably back to the u-pick blueberries on Tuesday again. And I already have blueberry baked goods coming out of my ears!