The Blueberry Incident - Apron Diaries Blog at - 121953

Apron Diaries

The Blueberry Incident 
Sep. 1, 2009 10:15 pm 
Updated: Sep. 15, 2009 7:24 pm
Everyone says it’s been a good season for blueberries in the Pacific Northwest, so Catherine (The Queen of Canning) and I ditched our families early one Saturday morning and met up at a local u-pick blueberry farm to satisfy our blueberry greed. Being an experienced u-picker, Catherine advised me to dress for success against sun exposure, prickly branches, and bugs. I wore a broad-brimmed hat. I wore a long sleeve shirt. I wore a mosquito-repelling wristband. But nothing could protect me against a swarm of wasps that rose up out of the grass and stung me silly.

Apparently my screams translated into wasp-speak as I think you missed a spot because they chased me down an avenue of blueberry bushes and kept up their attack like they were doing me a favor.

The only thing worse than wasps trying to tattoo you through your clothes would be an allergic reaction to their venom, but luckily we didn't go there.

To commemorate the unexpected turn of the day, I offer you Catherine’s Picked Blueberries. There’s nothing sweet and jammy in this jar. No sir. After an overnight soak in spiced up red wine vinegar, the blueberries got topped with a sweet/tart syrup and canned for the winter. Catherine spooned pickled blueberries over a generous wedge of ripened goat cheese and served it as an appetizer, but I want to try it again this fall as a relish with roast duck or lamb.

I certainly prefer the bite of these blueberries to the bite of those wasps.

What about you? Any run-ins with nature to report?  Thanks for visiting, and happy September to you.
Catherine on the blueberry hunt.
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Wasp attack waiting to happen.
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Big, fat, ripe blueberry.
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A small jar of concentrated deliciousness.
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Pickled blueberries over Humbolt Fog ripened goat cheese.
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Sep. 2, 2009 6:18 am
All I can say is "OUCH". I'm sure the blueberries were worth it though...(I guess?). Enjoy the fruits of your painful labor!!
Sep. 2, 2009 7:35 am
Mosquitos...stealthy, immune to repellant, thirsty, bloodsucking mosquitoes.... Well, actually, as long as don't contract West Nile Virus or EEE or malaria, etc, etc. I suppose I'd take mosquitoes over wasps any day! :) Those pickled blueberries over goat cheese sound like heaven to me!
Sep. 2, 2009 8:46 am
I agree- blueberries over goat cheese- YUM!
Sep. 2, 2009 8:59 am
I was raised on an organic blueberry farm in middle Tennessee. Somehow I could manage to pick the bush with the most wasps in the entire patch! I spent many a day nursing wasp stings (although many times it meant I could man the customer table in the shade!) so I completely understand what you've been through. We would always wet the sting and put meat tenderizer on it, which seemed to work, albeit over my bawling screams :) The recipe looks delicious!
Sep. 2, 2009 5:41 pm
There are so many blueberry farms near me that are still going strong, I feel bad for those that don't get to experience them. All I've done with mine so far this year is eat fresh, and freeze them. Those pickled ones (I've never heard of them) over goat cheese looks like heaven on a plate. Thanks Foodie!
Sep. 4, 2009 10:19 am
You have me laughing out loud for real! Its not funny to get stung like that, but you made it funny anyhow! haha! wasps ALWAYS hang out with blueberries? I was gonna get some bushes..but I might wanna rethink this!
Sep. 4, 2009 10:31 am
Great photos! I love blueberries and all the things one can make and bake with them. Too bad about the bites! You really had prepared well but nature has a way of going around our best plans. Thanks for sharing!
Sep. 4, 2009 12:20 pm
Hello to all and thanks for the visit. I don't know if blueberries and wasps necessarily go hand-in-hand (wasps have hands?) but I'm no farmer so someone else might have the answer there. I'm going to have to get out there and pick some more because we've completely gone through the pounds of berries I picked during wasp-a-palooza...even the ones that got frozen. Maybe I'll wear a suit of armor next time.
Sep. 5, 2009 11:51 pm
ahhh, brings back memories of college days backpacking finding wild blackberries along a river. In my bikini top and cut offs pee-wee me, all 5 foot 2 of me, reached waaaay in for the best berries, hit a wasp's nest, and had so many stings my arms wouldn't go down for a week. Only thing we had for pain was ethanol: will never drink that strawberry wine plonk stuff again. Quickly learned to always wear long sleeved tops/pants, gloves, and shake bush with a stick prior to diving in with hands! Never picked blueberries, but can't get enough eating them raw! I have a couple of killer lemon-blueberry recipes but have to buy double the amt needed to assure enough to cook.
Sep. 5, 2009 11:53 pm
My age is showing: tg it was before video cams or I wouldn't put it past my college buddies putting it on YouTube.
Sep. 15, 2009 7:24 pm
Yikes! What a price to pay for fresh blueberries. I have never had goat cheese or pickled blueberries, but they sound amazing together! My only run-in with nature this summer are the daddy-long-leg-type spiders that tried to take over my front porch. Every time I went through it I thought they were trying to catch me as food! Yikes! Sorry fellas, but I sprayed you all heavily with anti-spider spray (or whatever it's called) and so far there are no more spiderwebs in my face. :)
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