August 7, 1996

Beginning of the Road

By Dane Sorensen

 

Bob Cary is right.  This has got to be the best year for blueberries, bar none!  We have gone to our secret patch and found the whole hillside to be spotted in blue.

In the last weeks we have stuffed ourselves with blueberry pancakes as well as the endless sampling of blueberries while picking.  Around town I have seen more people with blue teeth.   Those are the folks who know where the super patches are.

Many families guard the location of their favorite patches.  The location is passed down from generation to generation.  Showing an outsider where to pick is a sin that ranks worthy of its own commandment in the Bible.  The fact that God forgot to mention blueberries in His description of Eden shows He was not fortunate enough to be born in Ely.  I feel lucky to have achieved Ely before my life comes to an end.

Family recipes for blueberries go back generations.  Luckily, recipes are shared.  Our way of eathing blueberry pancakes is to pour on tons of melted butter on and then sprinkle powered sugar over it.  This is followed by dribbling fresh lemon juice onto the powered sugar.  The blending of the blueberries, butter, sugar and lemon is as close to perfection as possible.

I must admit, I wish I knew the location of the super patches.  I have contemplated putting radio collars on some of the prominent pickers.  The trouble is they are too smart to l Most would leave the collars on.  Most would lead me way up Highway One and then leave the collar hanging on a tree.  Iíd get lost and have to eat skunk cabbage or something.

My one goal in life before I die is to have homemade blueberry pie made with wild blueberries.  Most people, unfortunate enough to be born in the big city, have been deluded with a corrupted bastardized form of blueberry pie.  I am referring to Wilderness Blueberry Pie Filling.  In the whole can I doubt there are more than five blueberries.  The balance is corn starch and other gooey fillers.  Iíd rather kiss my dog than eat that stuff.

My big problem is that I am too nice.  My neighbor, Paul Rozman, told me about a family he knew that would not let the kids back into the house until they had filled a laundry tub with blueberries.  They would drive around the back roads until that was accomplished.  I am sure the kids ended up with more mosquito bites than a troop of scouts, but just think of the countless pies, preserves, pancakes, muffins and potica that must have flowed out of the kitchen.  It is to die for.

What I donít understand is why people donít have chains and locks on their freezers to protect their frozen stockpiles of blueberries.  Many folks in Ely donít lock their houses.  I can understand that.  Insurance will cover you if some thief takes your color TV, but what can you do if someone steals your blueberry stash?  In another few days there wonít be a blueberry to be had in the woods.

Sure, you could buy farm raised blueberries at Zupís or IGA, but they are like all the other bloated fruits that come from the left coast Ė namely tasteless shadows of the real thing.

Take my wife, take my kids, take my color TV, but donít anyone try to take my blueberries.  They are mine, mine, mine!

 

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