Backyard Blueberries

Thursday, June 30, 2016

From Emily's Poetry Notebook:

With leaves of green and branches of red-
The blueberry bush looks to the summer ahead:
When the bears and the birds and the little girls too
Will all be out with the morning dew-
To fill up their baskets and tummies and beaks-
And they will have berry stains all over their cheeks.

Imagine our delight when we found the blueberry bushes in our backyard were heavily laden with big blueberries!

This has happened very early in the season for us, but rest assured we are not complaining! So please forgive another berry picking post, but with so many bushes, we have been madly picking so as not to waste a single one!
Early Monday morning we awoke and got ready for a day of berry picking. Quinn had work, but it was my day off and I planned to spend it outside in the sun! Greta too was also excited at the prospect of spending many hours outside.

See those bright red salmon berries? There are still so many of them around the yard! Really, I think we need some of you to come over and help us eat them all! 
And now, a very silly story:

As Quinn and I were picking blueberries early that morning, our father Paul came home from spending an even earlier morning fishing. He hadn't caught any fish though! As it turned out, a very hungry (and very rude) sea lion came over and stole a nice big salmon right off his fishing line! The sea lion then proceeded to follow the boat around hoping for more free fish. Needless to say, Paul had to call it quits for the day...
When I was little (and immature as you will see), my siblings and I loved to squish blueberries on our hands to make our poor mother think we had scratched them up on the pavement.

The juice from the blueberries is a very vibrant red-burgandy, and it will stain your hands for a day or two after picking.

I spent almost my whole day picking blueberries, but there are still jars and jars full just waiting to be picked. I'm sure I'll pick some more this week, but probably not as many as I picked this first day! There was enough for quite a few pies...

Now all that was left to do was soak them in some salt water (and get rid of all those bugs! Ick!) and then make some pies!

Of course, what better way to make pies than with a dear friend like Avery?
While Quinn measured out the ingredients (there's not much too blueberry pie), Avery and I got the crusts ready. She chose to cut out a blueberry shape with her crust, and I did the traditional lattice with mine:

By this time it was nearly sunset, so we hurriedly put the pies into the oven and tried to wait patiently for them.

Tried being the key word.

While they were baking, I set to the task of freezing my huge blueberry crop. I carefully dried handfuls of berries with paper towels and laid them out in a single layer on a baking pan. The pan went straight into the freezer and the next morning the blueberries were like glass marbles! I carefully put them into a big gallon freezer bag and stuck them back into the freezer. Now we will have blueberries whenever we want, be it for another pie, some muffins, or just to top off our cereal! And the best part is, we know we picked them ourselves in our own backyard!
Thankfully, our patience was rewarded and soon the pies were cooling out on the back porch!
The sunset outside was golden and beautiful, so we all sat on a quilt out in the yard and watched the sun set, eating our blueberry pie and ice cream!
Greta was so excited about the pie, it was hard to tell her that she couldn't have any...
Don't worry, Greta got a special treat with her dinner since she didn't get pie.
And while I was berry picking, she had probably eaten enough blueberries for two pies! 
My blueberry pie recipe isn't anything special, but if you'd like to try it I'll include it below! Quinn is excited to make blueberry muffins with the frozen berries, so I may have to write about his baking abilities soon. Until next time, have a wonderful rest of your week!

Blueberry Pie
A recipe by Emily Z.
4 pie crusts (store bought or homemade)
8 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1.) Prepare your crusts by putting 2 it into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Leave other two for later.
2.) Make sure all blueberries are washed. Combine berries, sugar, flour, and lemon juice together.
3.) Pour mixture into prepared pans, add top crusts. (Feel free to do a fun design! Just make sure there are cuts in the top so the steam can get though.)
4.) Bake with foil around pies for half and hour at 375 F, then remove foil and bake another half hour or until the crust is light browned and the fruit is bubbling. 
5.) Let cool for at least 2 hours for the slices of pie to come out cleanly without falling apart. Or, if you simply can't wait: let cool as long as you have patience and  serve it with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!


  1. I can almost taste your berries. Yummy! The last time I went blueberry picking was in the 1980's in Maine. We stopped along the road and picked them, then went back to my mom's cousin's house and had blueberries and fresh cream. Such a good memory. One of my favorite books - Blueberries for Sal. Do you know it? And is that Blue Willow I spy under that pie and ice cream? I have some blueberry fabric that is waiting to be made into a quilt. I think I may be inspired to get started. :)

    P.S. Greta is looking especially cute in her photo.

  2. how wonderful! fresh berries right out your back door! The pies look amazing too. And that little corgi face....she is the absolute CUTEST!

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  4. Your pies are beautiful, and what a blessing you have so many blueberries to pick!!! I just came across an easy and different blueberry jam recipe, so I will have to send it to you.

    1. Oh, I would love that recipe! By the way, your package should be getting to you tomorrow (hopefully)! :)

  5. Your lovely package has arrived. Thank you so much!!! I'm in the process of writing you back and hope to mail my reply on Monday, along with the blueberry jam recipe. :)


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