And, it seems I have stumbled upon a way to brush away the blues of bereavement ........ berry picking.
So it seems the combination of getting out in nature, awing in God's creation, walking along the hillside and harvesting such a wonderful fruit has a healing effect beyond wholesome fun and nutrition.
We invited a couple of friends to come along and pick to their hearts desire; which, unfortunately, wasn't long enough to fill the buckets to brimming.
Red Raspberry Bushes
And, can you believe it? One of the girls had never tasted a real raspberry or blueberry; let alone one popped straight from the bush. She had experienced the 'flavor' of the fruits in artificially flavored foods, but was nervous about the texture and 'dirtiness' (Ha!) of the fresh while berries. It took some gentle prodding by my part (placing a plump blueberry in her palm and telling her to take her time) and peer pressure from the others until I heard a *gasp* and an *oh!* and turned just in time to see the smile on her face as she closed her eyes to fully experience the burst of flavor. YES ....... a new 'whole food' convert!
These two little pickers went to town on the blueberry bushes.
We also harvested some of the last sour cherries from the trees, and they are neatly washed and packed in the freezer for use in a pie ....... or syrup ....... or jam ....... or something else equally as yummy as soon as the kids get back to school and I have my kitchen time again.
Another 'educational moment' popped up when I had to explain the cherries grew on vines, not trees. They have pits, and are SOUR. Oops, too late for that last tidbit of information as I noticed the pursed lips of my boy as he discovered the news for himself. One girl commented she was expecting the cherries to be like the bright red maraschinos her mom bought at the store. Sometimes discovery is not all that 'fabulous'.
The raspberries were so soft and ripe, they barely made it home without crushing themselves into a paste. I decided to finish off the smashing with my hands and carefully spooned the slush into ice cube trays. I hope to use these raspberry cubes in smoothies, but also hope to try out popping a few cubes into a lemon-lime soda and see what deliciousness occurs.
Here are the beautiful frozen berry cubes fresh from their molds. I can only imagine the yummy flavor and nutritional goodness these will add to a recipe. The color is AMAZING!
Emily found the perfect spot to rest her weary limbs. And the view of the beautiful weeping willow tree kept her in this spot until I threatened driving away without her.
Thank you Berry Patch Farm for bountiful buckets of beautiful berries!