Berry picking is one of those things that scratches a deep itch for me. I think it’s some kind of primal hunter-gatherer thing. Today Keira, Jennifer and I went to the Mercer Slough and waded deep into the tall grass to blueberry heaven: an overgrown, abandoned commercial blueberry farm. There are two kinds of berries there: big huge fat ones like you see in grocery stores, and the smaller, darker ones that resemble wild berries. The huge ones were still unripe, but the smaller ones were ready and I came home with two quarts of berries. Plenty for a pie and maybe even some jam.
The picking reminded me of Robert McCloskey’s Blueberries for Sal, a book I used to read every summer at the house my family rented up in Maine. Reading that book and McCloskey’s One Morning In Maine were traditions for me long after I was past the target age group. (I can still remember the last line of One Morning in Maine: “CLAM CHOWDER FOR LUNCH!”)
The blueberries I picked don’t have that intense flavor the wild ones in Maine have, but since I’m not going to make it back east this summer these berries are as close as I’m going to get.