Oh, blueberries. The thought of them conjures up memories of picking them at my family’s cottage in Ontario. They grow wild there, close to the rocky shores of the lake and along the 1.6 km dirt road from the county highway. In my mind, they’ve always been a late summer fruit, because they’re ripe in August up there.
Now that I’m in Florida, though, I’ve had to force my brain to think of blueberry season as much, much earlier. By early April, these tiny, bluish-purple orbs of sweetness are starting to ripen, and I learned that they’re in season for 4-6 weeks. So, there’s still time for me to go back and pick some more!
When I was updating my Memory List for this calendar year, I knew picking my own fruit had to make the cut. Strawberries are big around in February and March, but I wasn’t overly excited about them. I’d love to go to an apple orchard, as that would also connect me to my roots, but those don’t grow in the Florida climate. Peaches are coming into season soon, if they’re not already ripe for the picking… I should check that.
But it’s the idea of picking blueberries that stirred something within me. There’s nothing better than popping a super sweet one! On the flip side of that coin, chowing down on a tart one is absolutely horrible. And the frustrating thing about these little fruits, is that getting a container from the grocery store is such a crapshoot: even when there are wonderfully ripe berries in the bunch, there will inevitably be a considerable number of them that are mouth-puckering sour.
That’s precisely why I prefer to pick my own blueberries. And this particular time, I went alone, so I only had my own schedule to which to adhere. I didn’t rush. I took my sweet time, scouring through the rows of bushes, looking for the plumpest, darkest berries I could find. Most of the time, I only found one or two on a bush. All the rest weren’t ready yet. Luckily, this particular farm had a ton of bushes!
I must have spent close to an hour strolling through the field. The weather was glorious, with the morning sun just starting to warm the air. There was a slight breeze. I could have done without the child a few rows over throwing a massive tantrum about how much they hated being there, but whatever. I was relatively successful at tuning that out.
I was also really happy with my haul!
With my self-brought plastic container (which saved me $7) filled to the brim, my mind shifted to the second half of this memory: making pancakes with these blueberries.
Major storms were forecasted for later that day and the entire next day. I knew softball for that Sunday morning was going to be cancelled, so I had already planned to reschedule my day to start with some homemade pancakes.
And ohmigosh! They were fantastic! I just may have enough blueberries remaining to make another batch. Or perhaps I’ll just have to go pick some more this weekend. The weather forecast is looking promising again.