Todays adventure took us to the Stehli blueberry shack in Mantua Ohio. Dont bother looking it up though since it is a well kept secret except from those who live around it. I only found out about it from another farmer who was out of blueberries & referred me to " Stehli blueberry shack ". I looked it up in the yellow pages which still did not list it as a blueberry or U-pick farm.It was listed under the last name and the same road the farmer said it was on. So I called & got the address from the answering machine & paid a visit to mapquest. A hour's drive untill I finally saw this sign.~>This was our first time at picking blueberries, so the excitment was felt by all. Have I mentioned I LOVE blueberries! if you are a blueberry lover and would like to check a site out dedicated to everything blue berry- check this site out: www.theblueberrystore.com
They have tons of blueberry stuff, recipes, and even a free catalog you can sign up for. Yes I did put my name on the list...<~ The blueberry bush's were so pretty to see in person The kids were having so much fun picking these, they never complained once! Well Frog demanded to be fed so I put her in the sling and nursed while I picked those Blueberries- (Now that, my friends, is dedication- or would that be desperation...) It was nice because there was an abundance of ripe berries at their level and lower for them to pick. The clouds were getting a little grey, the air was cooling just abit, and a distant echo of thunder could be heard as we worked our way through the hill top. I made a comment to the kids about "oh, kids, I think she's about to let loose the rain. We best work our way back down now". Panda so sweetly said "Why dont we just ask Mother Nature to hold the rain for just a bit longer Mom"? You had to be in the moment to truly feel the innocence in it. The heat was not real bad since the clouds were overhead & the air had a cool moist feel for another half hour untill She finally did let the rain fall. Panda said it was because she was whispering to her, (Mother Nature), to please let us get our buckets filled more before she "let go". We made our way back to the shack before it started to pound down. We paid the girl for our 4 1/2 pounds which at $1 a pound put a huge smile on my face. We loaded up the Vue and decided to see if it let up in a few so we could go back for another few pounds real quick.
(if clicked on, the shack picture will show the drops of rain in mid "pour".)
We accomplished 1 1/2 pounds before the biting of mosquito's became unbearable so we ran back to pay then loaded one last time into the vehicle. As we drove home we stopped at a park by my dreamland to get the wiggles out of lil' man. One more look at my dreamland then back home to prepare the blueberries for the freezer.Here is a link to show the correct way of freezing blueberries- I even learned something from it... I sent the kids over to one of my neighbors with a pint of blueberries for them. They sent the kids back with some cucumbers & jalepono's. I am using the cucumbers in a certain recipe I hope you will enjoy in the next edition of "wild foods & wine" so stay tuned for that!
As you can tell this edition is about blueberries. If you are so fortunate as to find wild blueberries for this, please let us know! But I am using todays fresh picked ones. I have enough that i will be making the Farmgirl Fare blueberry bars (June 25 entry on her blog) this weekend. so go check her recipe out too!
Here is your Wild food recipes. Something to beat the heat and quench my unsatiable bluberry hunger.***************
Blue Witches brew (sorry, they did not last long enough to get any pictures!)
2 1/2 cups fresh or 12 ounces frozen Blueberries 1 1/4 cup apple juice 1 cup icecream (vanilla) 1/4 cup milk 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)************ Mix it all up in the blender. Pour into Tall glasses, garnish with spearamint and a straw. Sip slowly to avoid brain freeze and sit & relax on the front porch swing watching wildlife.
And another one I have not tried but sounds so yummy (that i will try making it once the heat backs off this weekend), comes from myFood for friends bookby Sally Pasley Vargas.
Blueberry-Raspberry Jam**********makes 7 half pints
Combine 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries & 4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 pkg.(1.75 ounces & I prefer the no sugar needed kind) of powdered pectin in a 6 quart or larger heavy bottom pot. Place over high heat and bring to a hard boil being sure to stir often. Add 5 1/2 cups sugar (I will use like 3 1/2 cups or less since I use No sugar added type of pectin) and stir constantly until mixture returns to a boil. Boil for exactly one minute.
Ladle into clean hot sterilized jars. Leave about 1/4 inch headspace, seal, and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes. **************************
In her description, she claims friends come back requesting more of this when she gives it out as gifts. I guess I should plan another trip to the blueberry shack soon. My 6 pounds is not going to last me all year....
3 wet & dedicated blueberry pickers waiting for the rain to stop.....