berry picking

I’ve never had my fill of berries before. They come in those tiny packages with high tags and train you to treat them like a delicacy. I daydream about having enough raspberries for jam and blackberries for pie filling and being able to just eat them until I have a belly ache.

This week at the farmers market I discovered a berry man that offers a U-pick option at his orchard, so the three of us put on our sun hats and long pants Monday and set out for blackberries and blueberries (raspberries are soon). The orchard was a blue-green expanse of orderly rows set against a backdrop of mountains. With the breezy weather and our newbie enthusiasm, we ended up staying until well past noon.

Now we’ve got tons and tons of berries. Gallons. I’ve never had so many at one time in my life.  I’m plotting ways to use them all to make this a year where I get to eat berries all the time so that I might finally feel like I’ve eaten enough. They’re going in the freezer for our oatmeal, yogurt, and baking. I’m also going to try putting some in the dehydrator and make every enticing canned good I can dig up.

I’ve spent hours compiling a list of canning recipes. I want some jars of berries for pies and cobblers, some extra jam to share, and some experimental solutions for the rest.

Even with the kitchen overflowing with berries taking up all the usable surfaces and with all that work ahead of me I don’t think I’m cured. If someone gave me more berries right now I’d still take them in a heartbeat.

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