Uncle an' Aunty went blueberry pickin'. This time o' year, thar's a heap of U-Pick'em places fer to tomaters, strawberries and blueberries.

In this case the Blueberry Fella had come to Uncle's attention on account of Blueberry Fella needin' a consult wif' a pork rind expert. Thas' how come Uncle knowed about this extra purty organic farm. Well, it were pure delight to be out gleaning on a breezy May mornin'.....us an a hunnert other folks:

Did put me in mind of that famous painting, The Gleaners by Jean Francois Millet

Used to be a time --mayhap it's still done--when farmers would harvest the fields, then allow the poor to come in an' glean the overlooked fruit or grain. 

Well, mercy, y'all,  we took home 14 pounds of luscious berries!  We wuz dreamin' of blueberry pancakes, muffins, jam, cobbler, smoothies, blueberries in salad wif'walnuts and goat cheese crumbled over romaine wif' a blueberry vinaigrette,  blueberry lemon tarts, blueberries may soon be found in mah lemonade, an I'se workin' on a blueberry sangria. Please send along any inspiration ya' may have.  Did I mention we hauled home 14 pounds??

Since we's out in the country, an' it be a holiday weekend, we made us a day of it.  Nuthin' us'uns like better than a ramble down ole timey brick streets in a wee 1800s towns that history done by-passed.

Y'all ever do that? jes' ride around in yore buggy lookin' at how thangs were when yore great-grandparents were in they own prime?


 Round heah thar's a few such hamlets that is still fightin' off "progress".   Iffin' Aunty could talk Buffet out of a billion or so, I'd buy one of these gems--I mean, buy the whole township, appoint mahself mayor an' zoning' board, an' utility an' agriculture commissioner. Ain't no ultility company gonna haircut these live oaks jes' fer the convenience of the lineman.

After swoonin' over this gracious grand dame we went a winding down the lane to the neighbor village whar' some fix-ups wuz exuberant  an' the owners is patriotic.

 Looky heah at this blue painted sweetheart of a home --it's  "downtown,"mere steps from the town hall what now serves 390 souls, though in yesteryear I reckon it wuz a metropolis of 1000.

 It made me wanna write Anne of Blue Gables.

Jes'  a meander down the road we found signs of  past prosperity.

An' a little further on, along a quiet a moss draped county road, thar's a necklace of  forgotten townships adorning the west side of a large Central Florida lake.  Ain't this turn-of-the-century home a picture??  Look a little closer at its wrought iron fence.  Reckon they'd sell it to me? Mebbe, but I woan ask, it looks perfect right whar' it be.

Ridin' these shady lanes, our memories began to work overtime. We growed up in Hog Town Creek, an' thar's many a small dot on the map up that-a-way what's still has a plenty of these post-bellum an' Victorian homesteads, most in disrepair.  We used to think we'd git us one some day. T'was afore MouseWorld. Aunty would surely go back iffin' I could (I ain't called Antebellum fer nuthin', I reckon.) But, mercy,  y'all know the drill....life moved us on.

After our reverie, we headed back to our own patch to process the blueberries.  Uncle sauntered out to check on his crops...he's had a real go of turnin' the front forty into as farm of sorts--yep, this is zucchini grownin' a step away from roses.

and the beans is thriving against the hedge. I 'spect the city will soon shut us down fer farmin' wif'out a permit.

The bounty from Aunty's dog pen garden-- decently hidden from the front door-- is 'bout finished.  Nuthin' left but herbs an peppers. Mebbe a few grape tomatoes.

We's had a grand weekend, an' a relaxed Memorial Day. To all the Veterans, we send heartfelt thanks on this day of recallin' how fragile our freedom is, an' all y'all done to make us the home of the free an' pray we's gonna be brave enough to keep a'holt of all that ya' preserved fer us. 

Aunty is poppin' proud to thank her own Daddy, Pappy Cracker,  who be one of the few Pearl Harbor Marines still celebratin' Memorial Day.  He wuz a mere 16 that fateful day, a fella cleveah enough to fool the recruiters 'bout his age, an' fortuante enough to survive it. Thank you, Daddy.

Happy Memorial Day all!

* click here for an older Memorial Day post wif' a bit of history about how this celebration began.
** Click here fer another post on old Florida


LaDivaCucina said...

Aunty, you sure live in a beautiful part of the state, so graceful and full of history. I loved the fence too. Florida is such a long state, so it's a bit hard to do a weekend drive like this for us way down south!

I'm thinking of putting in a third (yes third!) crop this summer, going to try Indian garbanzos, chilies, sunflowers and maybe okra. I don't think it will be the heat as much as the rain that will be challenging, we'll see. So glad you had a nice weekend.

moi said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the holiday. Blueberries are my favorite fruit. Funny, just as your growing season winds down, mine ramps up.

This also stuck with me: "Used to be a time --mayhap it's still done--when farmers would harvest the fields, then allow the poor to come in an' glean the overlooked fruit or grain."

When I was a freshman in college, I managed a small soup, salad, and sandwich shop at the mall. All our sandwiches were on baked-fresh-daily croissants.

At the end of the day, we inevitably had a good dozen to half dozen croissants left over. Since we had to stick to our motto of freshly baked daily, I couldn't hold these over or freeze them, so I started giving them away to the several homeless folk that stood at the street corners on my route home.

After a few weeks, someone reported me to the health department, who sent out an inspector to threaten me with the loss of my job if I continued. Imagine what would have happened had one of those homeless decided to sue the restaurant, city, state--whatever--if he or she had happened to get sick on a stale croissant?


Aunty Belle said...

La Diva,

, a third crop?? Whoa. Yep, rain everyday is a fungus nightmare...hope ya git yore share but not too much.
But, La Diva, help help!! Does ya have a suggestion fer all these blueberries??somethin' I ain't thunk up? Did have blueberries and cottage cheese fer breakfast today, t'were yummy.

Moi, Cherie,

Smart lady, since the blueberries have high antioxidant rating.

Yep, know that silly law, we has it too. The neighborhood Panera does donate its leftover pastries and bread to a nearby home for troubled kids. But the home comes to fetch it....no third party middleman who might breathe on it...o, an never mind that these starving street people are dumpster diving, but yore croissant? Perish the thought.

It galls me that there is so much food going into the garbage when we have hungry folks living in the eaves of the overpasses.

LaDivaCucina said...

Aunty, it's funny you ask because I only pondered the very same question last night! I LOVE blueberries and just bought one of those large tubs from Costco and was thinking to myself, Hmmmmm...how can I enjoy these without turning them into a cobbler? Or in ricotta pancakes? Of course, I love them in cereal and oatmeal and have taken to eating them with a smidgen of granola, Greek yogurt and honey instead of dessert. But I must confess: I like them best in pie!

Also, I like them in spinach salad with feta and strawberries. But honestly, it's hard for me to come with low fat, non dessert options! Enjoy, Aunty!

Karl said...

Good evening Aunty Belle,

A belated Happy Memorial Day to you, Uncle and Pappy Cracker, pat him on the back and express my heartfelt appreciation for his service.

14 pounds? How on earth are you going to eat or store, 14 pounds of blueberries? My guess in the words of Bob Marley "you be jam in".

My town's population is less than 400. There are several homes once beautiful and stately, they are now fighting decay. Here once the original family has passed on, everything is replaced with a McMansion. Hope the folks in your area find it better to keep those beautiful homes as they are and keep them up.

@ Moi: First, we shoot all the lawyers.

@ LaDiva: I believe you are right regarding low fat. Proportion size and moderation have more to do with healthy eating than anything labeled "low fat"

moi said...

La Diva, blueberry pie is the best, although I've never tackled one. My go-to is Martha Stewart's recipe for lemon curd tart with blueberries.

Karl, don't get me started on McMansions . . . or lawyers. Click, click, boom to both.

Buzz Kill said...

Thanks for the small-town Florida walking tour. Some real Americana there. I would never turn down a slice of blueberry pie, but I really like muffins - warm, with butter. And a right-hand salute to pappy Cracker, from a grateful American.

darkfoam said...

I'm glad to see that yore pappy is still standing proud and tall. That was an amazing generation.
I know the gleaners well. I've taught a few lessons around it. Great art and yes, your photo does bring to mind Fragonard.
What do I do with a ton of blueberries? Why eat them by the spoonful, of course ......

darkfoam said...

Oops, millet.

fishy said...

Oh those blueberries! Fourteen pounds seems like a lot. I have a brother who makes blueberry glazed short ribs. He makes a vat of the blueberry glaze and stores portions in frozen pouches until needed. In January, it's quite the surprise to have blueberried anything.

Our local Publix grocery store (they are in Florida too) offers blueberry cornbread in their bakery. I thought is sounded strange as could be but Blowfish made me taste some .... they use one of those cakey recipes for the cornbread so the blueberries add a rich tartness.

Here the food Kitchens get most of their protein in the Winter from the various hunting groups which supply fresh venison, duck and wild hog. Now some "do gooder" group thinks this should be stopped because the meat, while professionally processed, is not inspected. The fact there has not been a single incident is of no merit to these zealots.

@ Karl,
My term for those McMansions in old neighborhoods is "NuevoPretentious"
I think those people should be exterminated like vermin.

A huge thanks to your Pappy Cracker and his compadres. There is much for us all to be grateful for.

Jenny said...

Beautiful photos! Growing up we had blueberry bushes in our yard and I loved them fresh picked, warmed by the sun.

(you might want to check your FB page.) heeeeeeeeeeeeeee

darkfoam said...

Maybe she shouldn't check it .. ;~>

Aunty Belle said...

La Diva, amen, blueberries were made fer enhancing butter and flour

Ya doan wanna heah me get goin' on McMansions, the urban blight. Wish't yore tow would discover preservation. Thanky fer kudos fer Pappy C, he is 87' and still takin' care of bidness, y know?

Aunty Belle said...

Lemon blueberry tarts, oh yes, that would do it.

Pappy is a species of his own. Thanky. Uncle is on your side, he wants blueberry coffee cake, wif' streusel topping. But he would not pass up a blueberry pie.

Pappy is a good example of that generation, folks who had no trouble taking responsibility and not complaining. As fer blueberries? Wif a little sugar and a good splash of half and half yum.

Aunty Belle said...

I shy,
Blueberry cownbraid? Sounds purty good.

Thanky fer kind remarks fer Pappy. as fer donating venison , what a grand idea, and some busybody is in love wif causes, not people.

Boxer Babe,

Heh...See what fun y'all's havin' at yore ole Aunty's expense. Does make me wonder iffin' folks would approach Aunty ( and others) differently if they know what ya look like?

The sun warmed blueberries, picked as ya walk along, reckon that cain't be beat4

darkfoam said...

If you have the time only .. But I'm hosting this week's haiku Monday. The theme is humor.

SophieMae said...

Just came across a recipe for teritaki pork chops with blueberry-ginger relish. Or, how about blueberry bourbon BBQ sauce? Blueberry ginger bellini?

I have a more cheerul link for you today. Old Winter Haven

Also, word for the day: 'pareidolia'.

Sharon Rudd said...

Finally catching up here, and thank you kindly for the lovely pics from your part of the world, Aunty!

The idea of blueberry cornbread appeals to me, and so does puttin' up some of your bounty.

Aunty, I know you've been clamoring for me to post about my trip to the Southern Food Writing Conference in Knoxville and dinner at Blackberry Farm. I promise I'm workin' on it!

Meanwhile, it looks like I may have a couple more southward trips coming up. One of my cousins is getting married in Little Rock 4th of July weekend (I snagged a reservation at the new Husk restaurant in Nashville on the way down and would love to hear any recommendations of what to do/eat in Memphis). And I just might be meandering through Asheville, Atlanta, and the Georgia Mountains this summer too. If any of y'all live close enough to contemplate a rendezvous, hit me up at eggplanttogo at gmail dot com.

xoxo, eggy

Aunty Belle said...

Sophie Mae,

Ooooh,,Lady tha's some wunnerful recipe ideas. Uncle will be jazzed blueberry bourbon ANYthing. Those are some high falutin' recipes. Winter Haven is still a bit ole fashioned.

Sharon/ Eggy,
Yep, waitin' ' to hear all about the writer's confab. Cause, uh, writers WRITE, right??

Would luv to meet up! Lemme know the Ashville and Atlanta dates...hope to be in Mountins at some point, but not set in stone yet.

New post comin' if I can git mah self organized this weekend.

Haiku is at Foamy's this Monday. theme is humor.