We love blueberries!
Frozen, straight out of the bag. Or in pancakes, muffins, even scones! Drop a few in your cereal bowl, or top a fruit sundae. There’s so many ways to eat blueberries.
For several years now, I’ve gone out with my mom in the early morning hours to pick a couple gallons. My goal would be to freeze about 3 gallons of blueberries every summer. Trevor has gone with me a few times, mostly because HE is the one who eats most of the berries in our house! We didn’t pick any berries last summer, and ended up buying some from Costco instead. They worked out OK, but aren’t as good as real fresh picked berries. So last week we decided Saturday was the day.
The whole family was going to get up early and pick blueberries!
Jim and I set our alarm clocks for 5:30am- we needed time to wake-up and drink coffee before we got the kids up! We woke them up at 6am and headed out the door right at 6:15am. (No time for breakfast, we told them they could eat blueberries straight from the bush if they were hungry!) Everyone was bundled up in long sleeve shirts, coats, hoodies or stocking caps, it was quite a sight for being July 24th! The sun was shining, but it had to be only 55-60-degrees that early in the morning.
Brooke did surprisingly well. She doesn’t like blueberries, so she wasn’t picking to eat. She picked berries, one at a time, gently dropping them into her bucket.
Riley pouted for the first 1/2 hour or so and had no interest in picking berries. Trevor was also a bit grumpy and found lots of excuses to not pick. Spiders, wet berries, too few berries, too cold, blah blah blah. Finally about an hour into picking, and realizing the kids each had picked less than 1/4 bucket, I loudly announced to Jim, “Gee. Maybe we should have told the kids that if they picked a 1/2 bucket we’d go get them donuts. Too bad there’s not enough time to do that now!”
Apparently that was all the motivation they needed, because then they started working a little more seriously. Of course Grandma and Grandpa helped them out and added berries to Trevor’s and Brooke’s buckets. My buckets were full, so I started adding to Riley’s bucket.
In all, the Buckley Five went home with seven gallons of blueberries. We had the whole place to ourselves. Nobody else came to pick until just before we left, so 8AM-ish? In fact, somebody pulling in asked us how long it took us to pick that many berries- and would we be interested in selling them for a profit. HECK NO!
We did reward the kids with donuts. And not just a trip to a grocery store…we took them to “Every Day is a Donut Day” so they could pick out an extra special donut. It just adds to the experience.
Back home, I spent 2 hours washing and drying the berries, in small batches. Geez. We filled cookie sheets with berries (clean, dry, single layer), froze them on the tray, then dumped the trays into bags. We ended up filling 6 gallon size freezer bags full to the brim. The remaining berries were used to make a Blueberry Cobbler, or eaten on ice-cream, as snacks, fed to the daycare kids, etc.
I weighed our bounty: 7 gallons of blueberries weighs approximately 40 pounds.
We’ve never had this many blueberries in our freezer before. Gosh I hope we don’t run out before next summer…but it is good to know that we can bribe with donuts again! =o)
Ryan and I picked 3 gallons this weekend, and 2 gallons the weekend before. Boy are they yummy!
Right now we have the food dehydrator working on some of the berries. The rest are getting ready for the freezer and a blueberry cobbler-yum!