Monday, July 19, 2010

Blueberry Adventures (and Other Produce Pursuits)

So this summer, two of our main sources of entertainment have been going to farmer's markets and orchards. Two things I never really did in my own childhood. Since I lived on a farm there was no reason. We could get fresh eggs from an aunt or pick strawberries from my grandmother's patch. We didn't need a market or an orchard to help us connect to our own food supply. But out here in Delaware, we need to.

We've been up to Wilmington for a small farmers market in Little Italy (Saturdays, 9-1, 8th & Bancroft Parkway), headed over to U of D's own market on campus at Mentors' Circle (11-2 on Thursdays), and found the best selection at Newark's own farmer's market that operates every Sunday (10-2, 280 East Main Street) where we can easily head to after church. Among other things, we've gotten a lot of green beans, some rhubarb (made my first strawberry-rhubarb pie-it was fantastic), fresh herbs, and of course baked goods for Brian.
Theodore at the UD Farmer's Market.

Milburn Orchard has also been a favorite destination of ours this summer, and for the first time in well over a decade, my blueberry feign of a husband got to go blueberry picking. It was the orchard's first year for blueberries, and they had three different varieties to choose from. The first variety is probably the reason I mistakenly thought I didn't like blueberries. They just don't hit my taste buds right. But in the following rows, I finally realized that blueberries might not be so bad after all. For years I have baked blueberry pies without tasting them, skipped the blueberry sauce on waffles, and picked blueberries out of fruit salads. I just thought they were not the berry for me. However, by that night around 9:30 pm I had a piece of blueberry pie that made me seriously doubt my behavior. IT was delicious! I can understand now why Brian is always begging me to make this pie for him.
Since we the perfect fresh blueberries to use, I went all out and even made the pie crust from scratch, and watched the blueberries go from this:

We had a fun time at the orchard, though we are still riding this East coast heat wave to the fullest. Theodore and I ended up back in the car in the air conditioning while Brian was still picking. He would have probably stayed out there until his basket was full if I let him.

I've also kind of fell in love with my mother-in-law's garden this summer. I love to see things growing, and her garden has so much variety. She brought us out a bunch of peppers and eggplant and kohlrabi among other things. It's even better than a farmer's market.

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