Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's Blueberry Picking Time!!!!!

Blueberry picking is a HUGE family tradition for us.  I've been going with my Gram since I was just a wee little girl.  I've tried to continue that with my kids, because it was such a special memory for me.

So, each year, usually on the first weekend in August, we drive over to Muskegon to pick berries.  It's been wonderful and the kids really enjoy it!

This year, things got a little crazy and the weather is crazy and life is crazy and well, the berries came in a bit early.  So instead of driving across state, we went in our own area.  And man....was it great!

Despite the super-hot weather, we found a pretty cool morning to go.  And the bushes were loaded. And it was an organic farm.  And the berries were bigger than quarters!  And so sweet!!!

We only picked about 18 lbs this round.  We'll have to go again later this weekend to finish up as I usually do up about 25 lbs a year.

We're working on getting them cleaned and frozen now.  I have a special process for that.  It works really well to help the berries retain their shape and not get too mushy.  First you have to layer them on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Pick out all the stems and leaves and yucky pieces.  Then place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 45 minutes or until the berries are firm.  Take them out and measure out two-cup groupings of berries.  Then place in bags and put in freezer again.  I've been using my food-saver and vacuum sealing them, which works well and saves space in the freezer.

Now we're ready for berries all year long!!!


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