Saturday, July 23, 2011

berrypicking




It's July in Georgia, and that means one thing:

It's hotter than the devil's drawers.

Wait, no. More than that.

That also means berrypicking.




Blueberry season runs from about now until mid August. So we woke up early and headed out to the dirt driveway right down the street from the house where I grew up. The chain link gate is open, and the sign just reads BLUEBERRY PICKING. It's been there as long as I can remember. And they said they've been in that house for 50 years and planting blueberries for 35 years.

Those are blueberries you can trust, y'all.




We walked up to the shady garage, where two old ladies and one old, tail-thumping black lab sat. One lady was selling monster zucchini and bright buckets of tomatoes for practically nothing. The other one gave us buckets and rules.

1. No screaming.

2. Stay out of Farmer McGregor's garden.

3. Eat as many blueberries as possible.


Yeah, no problem there, ma'am.




There are over 700 blueberry bushes. The last time I picked here, I was in high school, and I hated blueberries. I just went because I was invited. Now? I love the darn things. and so does my family.

Dr. Krog has requested a cobbler, and as soon as I figure out what that is, I guess I'll have to make one.

"DEES MINE OWN BERRIES," the boy said. "LOOK AT DEM. YOU NO CAN HAVE DEM."



And then he spilled them all over the ground, and we all squatted to help him refill his sparkly purple bucket. I tried to toss the white and pink ones, the unripe ones.

But he liked those best of all.

You know, berry picking is a lot like writing. You go out in the wilderness. You have to go in deep, because the good berries are never the easy ones. You have to test each bush, make sure you like the taste of it. And then you have to push further in to find the ripe ones, the ones that are ready to be picked.

And then you've got to figure out what the hell to do with all those nice berries.

I've got a notebook full of book ideas and a colander full of fruit.

Time to get to work.

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p.s. Did I ever mention that I had an Admiral Piett hat?

I do.

I wear it for berrypickings, hay rides, and hootenannies.


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2 comments:

DysFUNctional Mom said...

At our old house we had dozens of blueberry bushes. I miss them! I keep meaning to go pickin' somewhere.
Anyhoo, I have a great cobbler recipe that I used for all those berries, check it out....
http://southernlovingfood.blogspot.com/2010/06/fresh-berry-cobbler.html

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

That recipe looks fabulous! I ended up using one on foodgawker.com, and the family seemed to like it. I'll try this one next time, as the melted butter bit sounds good.

Oh, to have berries in the yard...!

Thanks for the recipe!