Thursday, July 10, 2008


Bird, berry, moon, skies, heeler, corn, belles, bonnets, tooth __. How did you fill in the blank? Wednesday we drove east, sort of, as the road winds uphill and down, forward and backward through the Ozarks. On the way to Berryville, no kidding, not making up that town, we saw a sign similar to this: BLUEBERRIES: U Pick-->

Muffin made the right turn, and less than a mile down the road was another sign: BLUEBERRIES <--. Turned left. And the road dissolved into a muddy mess. We almost turned back when a local fellow passed us, then backed up and asked if we were looking for the blueberries. Said he had made it on the road all day. (It rained quite a lot last night. Did you know that fireflies are not intimidated by thunderstorms? Indeed, they seem to see it as flash rivalry.) Finally, we see another sign --> to the berries. As we made that turn, I am NOT kidding here, we saw a bluebird. He flew from the brush right in front of our car, as if to show us the way. Muffin saw it too, so don’t accuse me of anything! Under a little shed we found a table with buckets and a clipboard with a hand printed note something like this:

Berries in field. Take bucket. Pick Berries, Return Bucket. Use flat cardboard for berries. Leave money in Bucket. Thanks.

And a sign on a black board like this:


$20.00 (Big X through that)


So, we each got a bucket and hit the field. Some of the bushes were so loaded they actually looked blue from a distance. About an hour, many chigger bites (in spite of Cutter’s Deep Woods), and some rain later, we headed back to the car with 2 buckets of berries. Two dogs, an aging German Shepherd and a little white terrier, met us at the car. We left the money, transferred the blue bounty, and reversed the directions to the main highway, where we saw a hotel: The Bluebird Inn. I AM NOT making this up!

Because we didn’t have enough containers for freezing the berries, we drove on to Berryville, mailed a letter at the town square, stopped at Wally World and bought zip lock freezer bags, along with a little low fat ice cream, some Diet Coke, and a few cookies so we could have some calories. The refrigerator in our cabin is about half size, but has a substantial freezer. We poked holes in plastic bags, using skewers, making a colander for rinsing berries. Then using paper towels we lined the boxes, filling them with the rinsed berries so we could gently dry them. A few nasty beetles hitched a ride in the berries and ‘bout scared me senseless when they flew out of the water. One little ladybug also hitchhiked. We’re still drying the berries as we slowly flash freeze the others in two foil broiler pans in the itty bitty freezer, transferring them to the bags when they are frozen enough to avoid squashing. I think we’re going to have about 10 quarts, plus some for breakfast. Bunch of bountiful blueberry breakfasts.

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