It’s not often that I feel brave enough to venture out on an adventure with all three kids by myself. Whether its that the twins are getting older, or if it’s that I’m getting more mom-savvy, I actually decided to take all three kids blueberry picking. It helped that we went to Ward’s Berry Farm, a local farm that Little Guy and I have visited many times in the last few years.
Little Guy likes the animals. The local 4-H club keeps animals there in immaculate pens and a small barn. The Twinkle Twins loved the chickens (I loved the shaded picnic table next to them), but Little Guy and I fell in love with the two-day old lambs that slept alongside their wary mother. Still sporting their little lamb’s tails, these bundles of baby wool stole our attention more than once.
The blueberry picking was as expected (hot and frequently distracted). Little Guy was really in to the whole thing for the first twenty minutes. His hard work pulled in a few handfuls of berries varying in color from bright green to red to dark sweet blue. After his twenty minutes of hard manual labor, he proclaimed that he was thirsty, hungry, hot and tired at which point he sat down and started to kick the ground, try to pull at the bushes, antagonize the twins and do anything that would pull me away from the task of filling our obviously too large container. In the end we brought home two pints.
That night we wrapped up our blueberry day with a reading of Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey. As is the case with the very best of children’s literature, reading the book allowed both Little Guy and me to relate to the story with our own experiences. Little Guy frequently compared our day to the adventures of Little Sal and Little Bear, and I also thought wistfully of my own childhood memories of picking berries with my parents.
In my life I have tried my hand at picking cotton, various thorny berries, apples, pumpkins and blueberries. The hardest was, without question, cotton; blueberries actually fall on the very easy end of the spectrum. My very limited exposure to farm work has left me with a tremendous amount of respect for farm laborers. I know without one ounce of doubt that I would not last one day as a farm worker. However, those that work on the farms near me do have the great advantage of not having three kids in tow while they work which gives them a distinct advantage!
Our two pints of blueberries will be gone soon. I wanted to save a few to make a quick bread, and I knew it would be a good way to use some of the berries that were not perfectly sweet for eating. Perhaps I’ve just had my trip to Turks and Caicos on my mind lately, or perhaps its the song I’ve been humming lately, but I knew I wanted to mix the fresh blueberry flavor with lime and coconut. The recipe is adapted from a Cooking Light recipe for Lemon-Blueberry Muffins. I’ve changed it significantly, but the basic idea is the same. Citrus and blueberries go really well together. So do coconut and lime. Using toasted coconut flour and coconut oil gives the bread a rich coconutty richness that pairs well with the limey tang of the zest and lime glaze. Each flavor is distinct: the lime tang gets your first, then the coconut and the blueberry. It’s a very special flavor, a place where the Caribbean flavors meet New England charm. Enjoy!