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Picking Blueberries

It’s early August and Facebook is full of pictures of people picking blueberries, branches practically dripping with fruit, plasticpicking containers overflowing with sweet, soul-fulfilling nuggets of nutrition.

“Where did you get those?” folks ask eagerly. Though they already know that the answer will be just a sly smile, or possibly “I can’t tell you.”

My son and I recently bushwhacked to our favorite area where we have picked many times before, and were dumbfounded to find that the entire area had been picked clean.  Trampled brush indicated several people had been there, and they didn’t even leave any for the birds.  Aw heck, I wasn’t really concerned about the birds that day; it was more a question of how I was going to make my Blueberry Buckle recipe this summer.  We looked around some more and found some Bog Huckleberries, (another acid soil-loving native that is very closely related to blueberries) and we gathered about 2 cups – just enough to make the buckle. And it was delicious! But I really wanted blueberries. 

A few days later, I was lamenting our relative lack of success in picking to someone whose name I cannot share (this person’s family might possibly disown them for the telling) and we agreed to exchange our secret (apparently not-so-secret in my case) picking locations, with full disclosure that mine had already been plundered this year. The next evening after work, my husband and I took off on what he was convinced was a wild goose chase.  But after about 20 minutes of looking for the spot, I found the path and we struck gold.  Or rather, blue.  Another ½ hour of picking yielded enough for blueberry pancakes, another batch of blueberry buckle, and some to put in the freezer for later. And we left enough for the birds. 

Blueberry Buckle
Ingredients
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C shortening
1 egg
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 C clean blueberries

Topping
1/2 C sugar
1/3 C flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C butter

Method:
Mix together thoroughly the sugar, shortening and egg.
Stir in the milk
Sift together the flour, powder and salt and stir in
Gently stir in blueberries

Pour into a greased and floured 8 x 8 pan. 
In a separate bowl, mix the topping ingredients with your fingers and gently spread on top of the cake.
Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes.