My grandmother was unflappable. Mémère could fall asleep in a room full of chaos. Nothing ever seemed to bother her. She had no hesitation taking her young granddaughter into the deep Maine woods to go blueberry picking, even though her granddaughter had a life threatening allergy to bees. Clearly she was right, because no catastrophe ever occurred but rather just wonderful memories eating handfuls of blueberries right from the bushes.
I remember many outings, where we would walk deep into the Maine woods to find the best blueberry bushes to pick from during blueberry season. These were in the days before the evolution of pick-your-own farms. This was old school. She knew where the blueberries were and had mad skills picking them.
She had created a hands free collection system by stringing ragged strips of material through nail holes she had punched in large recycled metal coffee cans, back in the days before Keurig. Although, for the amount of blueberries I collected as a young girl, I probably only needed a k-cup sized collection bucket. Not my grandmother though, she could fill can after can with blueberries during a single outing. In addition to the hands free cans, we would bring larger buckets to dump our blueberries into when we would finish filling our smaller ones, so that we could continue picking. I never filled up my smaller can let alone the larger bucket, but my grandmother would sneak some of her blueberries into my bucket so I always left with a smile.
Because of her skills, and her great love of blueberry picking, I grew up with a constant supply of blueberries in my house. They were a year round treat as we would freeze bag after bag to use later. One of my favorite snacks as a young girl, was a bowl full of frozen blueberries – nature’s Popsicles.
My grandmother never slowed down and picked blueberries into her nineties. Blueberries are a superfood after all! While in later years, we no longer trekked deep into the Maine woods but instead found more accessible pick-your-own locations, she still had a passion for blueberries, and got to share her expertise and love of blueberry picking with her great-granddaughters.
Sadly, all the delicious things she use to make with the blueberries she picked are lost as she didn’t really keep recipes. She cooked things from memory, and while we did have the foresight to write some of them down, there are no blueberry specific ones to be found. But, over the years, I’ve collected some favorite blueberry recipes of my own.
In memory of Mémère Rose and the many wonderful days spent picking blueberries, here is a link to one of my favorites from Cooking Light (Published July 1, 1998) for a Blueberry Pound Cake. I’ve made this one many times. It’s absolutely delicious, although nothing compares to a handful of fresh blueberries straight from the branch.
I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2016. I will be posting new content every day except Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Life in Maine, and each post will in some way relate to Maine. There are over 1500 other bloggers participating in the challenge. Click HERE to learn more.