2017-10-04 / Here's the Scoop

Getting chilly

Back in August, I wrote a column about my adventures in blueberry picking. Here’s the Cliff Notes version of that event: It was fun and we scored lots of blueberries.

In fact, I believe the final tally was 23.5 pounds of takehome berries. With another 3.75 or so pounds of berries concealed in my stomach. I noted at the time that blueberries have pretty much become my favorites. Little did I know.

My work didn’t end at the harvest, either. Reminding me that, in addition to all the blueberries I had consumed, I also needed to work off the cheeseburger and the huge dish of ice cream I enjoyed on the way home, my wife suggested that helping her prepare the berries for freezing would help crush some calories.

The proper technique

Here’s something I learned: it’s best to spread the berries out on a cookie sheet, freeze them, and then deposit them in a bag before entering them into chilled storage. By spreading out the berries, they don’t stick together. Here’s another lesson: frozen blueberries are really good. Way better than fresh off the bush.

As a general rule, I like a little “crunch” included with my meals. Usually some toast or chips will do the job. I wouldn’t say that frozen blueberries fit the bill as “crunchy,” but they certainly have a bit of texture that I like. And like. And like.

It all started when I was transporting the frozen sheets of blueberries and started sampling some of the frozen variety. Just like fresh — only better. So, I did what the average borderline obsessive/compulsive person would do — I ate more. Many more.

I think I’ll have just a few...

In fact, it wasn’t long before frozen blueberries became a nightly snack. Kind of a ritual. I’d start out enjoying a small bowl. Then get a refill. And, what the heck, another few berries wouldn’t hurt — fruit is good for us!

Most of the blueberries were stored in the basement freezer, so I had to be a bit motivated to have a stash handy. Like a teenager volunteering to take out the garbage so they could sneak a smoke behind the garage (fortunately, not a compulsion I ever had), I started making trips into the basement for random excuses — “I wonder if my baseball glove from high school is still in good shape?” I’d ask before heading downstairs. The only catch I was after was another bag of frozen blueberry goodness.

Seemed liked we had more

While I wasn’t exactly hiding my snacking habits, I was becoming a bit concerned about the dwindling supply in the freezer. My wife wasn’t keeping close tabs on my “blue tooth connections,” but she did start to comment that consuming frozen blueberries is a noisy habit. I’m still not sure what she meant by this — and I may never find out.

I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, that I somehow managed to consume all of the blueberries we harvested. It just sort of happened. When my evil deed was discovered, I tried to justify my actions. “I think that frozen blueberries could become the next health food craze — and maybe I can become a paid spokesperson touting the benefits of this trend,” I enthusiastically offered.

My wife calmly responded the mid-winter blueberry pancakes and waffles would not be among the benefits in our household this winter. Ouch. Well, I guess there are worse things. On the bright side, at least my frozen blueberry eating frenzy didn’t earn me a cold shoulder. — Brian Sweeney

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