Monday, August 3, 2009

Blueberry Fields Forever

Annual Blueberry Day is a favorite in our household. Every year for about four years we have picked blueberries at an eight acre blueberry farm. We have added activities on as we go. Each year our event gets a little better. It's a family thing. My husband takes the day off from work and my parents go as well. We have had friends join us some years as well.

The day starts out pretty early before the sun gets too hot. This year we picked around twenty pounds of blueberries. My parents picked the same (ah, yeah, we helped them quite a bit). Yup, its a lot but I freeze them and can them and of course we eat a bunch of them as well.


It had rained the day before so by the time I was done picking my whole right side was completely wet. Kept me nice and cool.
Down the road from the blueberry farm is this great park by Lake Ontario. The kids have a blast! There's a playground and this water playground. We have our little picnic and enjoy it all.

After that there is a place right nearby where they have kiddie rides for 25 cents a piece. How can a kid and a parent go wrong at those prices!

After all that we end the day with an ice cream cone. Now tell me, does it get any better when you are a kid. And for me, it was a magical day because I could watch my kids totally enjoying themselves and I was surrounded by people I love.

After we get home, I freeze blueberries. The next day I make jam. What a jam it was. Since some of the blueberries were slightly underripe there was quite a bit of pectin in them. The jam set up right while I was cooking. The recipe said it would yield 64 ounces, I got 78, yup, you read that correctly. It didn't have to boil down as much.
Vanilla Blueberry Preserves

1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
9 cups blueberries, mashed
6 cups sugar

Combine all in a large pot and cook until it thickens. Watch carefully and stir often when it thickens up. It will burn real easy. When it thickens, remove the vanilla pod and discard (it should be pretty used up at this point).

Pack into sterilized jars (boiled) and wipe rims clean. Process for ten minutes.

13 comments:

bbaking said...

I made blueberry jam this year too as my neaighbour has bushes and gave me a big bowl of them. yummy stuff!

Karine said...

I used to go blueberry picking a lot when I was a kid... There was a lot of blueberries behind my house :). That was ssoo much fun!

Ingrid said...

SOunds like a blast! and to top it inexpensive fun.
~ingrid

Katy ~ said...

How satisfying to spend a day in the sun, pick blueberries, and to preserve the day so deliciously!!

Grace said...

blueberries are the best fruit to pick--no thorns! whenever i go, i tend to eat more than make their way into my basket. :)

kat said...

I love the beautiful dark color of blueberry jam don't you? Your day our reminds me of our apple picking days as kids.

Barbara Bakes said...

I've never been blueberry picking. I looks like a great day! I'm sure the jam is delicious!

Mary said...

We love to pick berries and have a freezer full of various kinds to prove it. Your photos are lovely and your jam looks delicious.

chocolatecup said...

i am soooooo sooooo sooo jealous that you get to pick blueberries!! i always get those expensive ones that taste mehhh.

Lisa Michelle said...

Gorgeous berries, but the vanilla infused in with the blueberry is making my stomach rumble. Love the color too. Bookmarked since I'd love to try it using blueberries and raspberries together :)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Ahhhhh....I'm jealous.

Lynn said...

This sounds so good. I'm impressed that you don't need to add any store-bought pectin. I'll bet the vanilla in them is yummo. We pick olallieberries every year and I make jam, but I've never picked blueberries. That would be fun to do sometime (assuming they grow here in northern California). Enjoy your jam :)

LittleRed said...

Very interesting! I had never seen high bush blueberries. They grow wild here so that's all I've seen.

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