Less is More….Blueberries


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Sometimes I make things overly complicated. And fuss too much. But I mean well.

When my brother brought me blueberries from his farm, he also brought over 8 cartons for my elderly uncles, who live a couple of blocks from me. As I washed and froze and made compote and organized all the berries, it occurred to me, “gosh, that’s an awful lot of berries for the uncles to figure out what to do with. I should make stuff they like to eat”. I thought out this whole menu of blueberry items I could make them over the course of the next few months from the frozen berries. I ran it past Andy, who gave me the green light to use the berries to make tasty snacks for the uncles. I held back two fresh cartons, and two frozen bags, and brought them over to the uncles. When I was dropping them off, I started to ask them about various blueberry items they might like to eat.

It may amuse you to know that the uncles were not interested in blueberry pancakes, coffee cake, or muffins. When I asked one uncle what he’d like me to make, he looked me in the eye (while simultaneously stuffing a handful of fresh blueberries in his mouth) “Why would you do all that extra work?”.

I was taken aback. These guys are known to have a sweet tooth, and, well, Italians like food in general. This uncle in particular is the guy who taught me most of what I knew about gardening until I was in my 30’s and who used to like to cook stuff for me all the time. But I realized he wasn’t trying to save me from doing all that work…he really just wanted to eat the berries straight. They didn’t need any improvement. Less is more. Maybe there’s a lesson there…I’m having a hard time articulating it but I think I need to learn how to recognize when things are already perfect, and then know when to just stop and enjoy.

I left them a couple of containers of fresh and a couple of bags of frozen berries and told him to call me when they run out. I suspect they had blueberries for dinner tonight.

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Blueberries!

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Here are some blueberries from my brother’s farm! He just dropped off a box of 8 cartons at my house for me, and another box for our uncles down the road. While not certified organic, he has never sprayed his blueberry bushes.
What to do with that many berries? I washed and froze most of them in ziplock bags. For most fruits I slice and freeze them on cookie sheets prior to storing in ziplock bags in order to keep them from turning into one big block of fruity ice. However, with the blueberries I’ve found that as long as you drain the water thoroughly and stack the bags flat, the berries don’t stick to each other too much. This saves some time.

There were a couple cartons that were getting soft, so I made blueberry compote. One carton was past its prime so I am using it in homemade enzyme cleaner (aka fruit vinegar). So that leaves me with four cartons frozen, two jars of delicious compote, and one carton will be combined with various citrus fruits to make cleaner and one to eat fresh! I also will probably use a very small number of them to experiment with making my own inks to draw with. I’ve been experimenting with some different berries lately and I would like to post a video of my drawing experiments some time in the near future.

All I had to do is get stung helping to Install his beehives in the rain this spring….actually, Andy would have given them to me anyway, and I don’t need blueberries to help with the bees : )

Thanks, Andy!