I’m So Blue
Berry that is. Lord knows I’ve been eating them by the pint from the farmers market for weeks at $4 a pop. They were getting to be quit an expensive habit. But at least they were healthy…for my body but not so much for my wallet.
So for our Friday date Hunni and I had planned to go blueberry picking at a local pick-your-own in Vermont. The was a slight drizzle but we made a go of it…it was just a second shower for the morning 🙂 We picked 4 pounds of wonderful blue (but really purple) berries for my Saturday afternoon project with Chelle.
Vermonters are so trusting. There was no one to collect the money when we finished. It really was do-it-yourself. The sign next to Hunni says that you can pick as much as you want and just use the chart they have to pay for what you pick. We picked 4 pounds and paid around $10. Not bad considering there were about 2 quarts in that bag. The farm owner came out to collect her previous day’s money and gave us a curious look and wave. I’m sure she was thinking “who are these nut cases out in the rain to pick blueberries? They must be starving.”
In fact we were. We worked up quite an appetite picking them because we were good berry pickers and didn’t do the “one for the container-two for me” method Hunni had originally suggested. Instead we decided to hit up a local place that I’ve heard about for the entire 2 years we’ve lived here but have had the time to really go enjoy it.
The Blue Benn had been around for ages and is a staple for EVERYONE…it was even mentioned in several of Chris Bohjalian’s books like Secrets of Eden. He’s a Vermonter so he knows. And trust us we now know too because we waited for about 20 minutes before we snagged two open seats at the counter. The menu is extensive and there are tons of specials everyday.
I had the most amazing omelette that I couldn’t even stop eating to take a picture. But it was roasted local apples and cheddar cheese. Hunni had the buckwheat mixed berry pancakes with real Vermont Maple Syrup that he just kept saying “mmmmmmmm” the entire time. We snuck a peek at the rest of the menu and realized it is really me diet friendly…meaning all natural, things without sugar and tofu! We will be returning 🙂
It wasn’t until after we ate and paid the check that I realized I had brought part of the berry farm with me to the diner…
And no one told me it was there the entire time. Made me giggle 🙂 The rest of the day was lounging around because the rain got much worse. But our work was done for the day.
But the work for berries was not finished. I had a date with Chelle to make jam on Saturday. It is #12 on my 101 in 1001 days list. And Chelle just happens to be an expert canner. If you think I’m kidding check out her blog Little House on the Great Flats and her magic little cupboard door 🙂
I can’t normal home-made jam with up to 6 cups of cane sugar so I brought two options with me from the cool Vermont Natural Foods Store…
We decided on the beet sugar just due to the sheer volume of sweetener we would need. We ended up using 3.5 cups so I have enough to make blackberry jam in the late summer. Don’t worry the date sugar will be used for a fun experiment tomorrow 🙂 I want a to have a gift to take to a friend who just had a baby…and of course share a piece.
I took an extraordinary amount of pictures for this fun task because I was busy giggling and having fun with a great friend as well as enjoying her fun DSLR camera. Oh boy do I want one now even if I don’t need them. So instead of recapping everything I’m going to let the photos do the talking. They are a mix of my point and shoot camera and her DSLR…you can totally tell the difference. Color me jealous.
Of course there was the all important taste test. I like my jam not too sweet but not too tart. Chelle had me keep testing the juice and of course I was happy to oblige. It felt like wine tasting.
I got it just right…like Goldilocks…and we ended up with 7 full processed jars to add to my amazing pull-out pantry. Oh and one not so full jar that was dubbed entirely for Hunni. He took that literally and made two sandwiches in one night. I think there was something “special” in that jar.
Perfectly perfect! And after a long afternoon of canning Chelle and I needed a nap. Good thing we made good use of our time to finish her first quilt so she could curl up on the couch 🙂
I feel very Little House on the Prairie today…or should I say Little House on the Great Flats.
What is one of your big goals you have accomplished lately?