Blueberry Picking and Raspberry Kriek

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Sweet summer, how I love you. As I type this now, it’s almost 90 degrees, and the heat wave is supposed to last through the weekend. I’m happy to savor summer for as long as it lasts; too quickly, the sun will be setting at 4, the rain will pelt in sheets, and I’ll be stuck inside for months.

A couple of weeks ago, Jared and I decided to go blueberry picking near Mt. Hood. Though most of Hood River’s bluberry crop was long gone, the picking was still good in Parkdale, Oregon, a small town close to Mt. Hood. The higher elevation – which makes for slightly cooler temperatures – and the wide variety of berries grown meant a late crop. Jared did some digging on a few farm sites, and we happened upon a lovely family-run farm just 1/2 mile from Mt. Hood Bed and Breakfast, where we had gotten married just a few weeks before.

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After taking a tour and hearing a quick explanation of the different varieties of berry, Jared and I had at it.  The berries were plump and sweet and darn near dripping off the bush.

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We spent an hour picking, gathering a whopping 22 pounds of blueberries, not including the pound or so that we gorged ourselves on as we picked. By the end of the hour, our fingers were sticky, our knees stained with mud, and pink hives ran up and down my legs — an allergic reaction to the grass. Our haul was worth it.

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We paid 1.50/pound of the most delicious blueberries I have ever tasted, and now our freezer is packed with bags and bags of summer’s bounty, a welcome treat for the upcoming cooler months.

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Yesterday, I used some of the frozen berries to make a smoothie, all I wanted on the 90+ degree day.

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This treat was made with frozen blueberries, a couple of handfuls of spinach, ice, a spoonful of dairy-free vanilla protein powder, and chia seeds, and boy did it the spot!

After wearing ourselves out from all that blueberry picking, Jared and I stopped at Solera Brewery , a microbrewery run by a couple in Parkdale. The kitchen is small and the options are few, but what Solera does, it does well.

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Behold, the raspberry kriek.

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Behold, the free popcorn!

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And the stunning views!

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And the handsome dude. Sorry, he’s taken.

It happened to be sausage night: a brat with any topping you could imagine and a delicious beer for 8 bucks.

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So, I’m not going to complain one bit about this mid-September heat wave.  Nope, I’m going to sip my blueberry smoothie and soak it all  in.

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