A month or so ago, I was a little worried about my blueberry bushes. It had been so dry I just knew I was not going to have blueberries to “put up” this year.

Not the case.

The opposite, in fact.

The rains we have had the last few weeks have done the trick and my two blueberry bushes are bent over with big clusters of blueberries.

For the last couple of weeks, I have rushed home after work, trying to beat the afternoon thunderstorms, to pick blueberries; much to the delight of my grandkids, especially the youngest.

My blueberry bushes are near the wood line, which is also near a small creek, so that means mosquitos and deer and horse flies. They’ll tote you away.

They are so bad this year that I have stopped letting my grandkids “help” me pick blueberries, despite saturating ourselves in bug spray. But bugs or no bugs, I am determined to pick every last blueberry.

Randall, my husband, is always sending me helpful little hints for easier ways of accomplishing things. He finds all this on social media.

His latest helpful hint was on how to quickly pick blueberries. He knows I have been battling the ‘skeeters while dodging rain.

The hint suggested using a golf umbrella. You are to open the umbrella, turn it upside down under a few of the limbs and shake the limbs several times. The blueberries were then to fall into the umbrella and once finished you are to dump the blueberries you collected into a bucket.

Sounded like a good plan, so I gave it a try.

It worked. My umbrella caught more ripe berries in a very short time than I would have been able to pick in an evening. But. But, it also caught leaves, twigs, bugs, worms and many unripe berries.

Nevertheless, feeling proud of myself and wanting to show Randall that, yes, I do read those “helpful hints” he sends me, I snapped a photo of my “catch” and sent to him.

His response.

“Heather, you are not supposed to rake the yard with the umbrella.” Haha.

I gingerly carried my half-filled, open umbrella to the porch to sort through it all.

Once I was settled in my chair on the porch, the berry eaters (my grandkids) flocked around me.

Sebastian, the 3-year-old, had an excited expression on his face and asked to help. He is always wanting to “help” grandma do things.

Aubri, the 1-year-old, just dove, almost head first, into the umbrella, grabbing berries and stuffing them in her mouth. I was really surprised when she would pick up a green berry, look at it and throw it down.

Jayden, the 7-year-old, caught sight of the inch worms and stink bugs which had been shaken into the umbrella and decided he’d had all the blueberries he cared for, leaving the bounty to the others.

The “sorting” took quite a while and looking back on the evening, I don’t know if I would recommend the “helpful hint” of using an umbrella to collect berries. I think it would have just been easier to pick them by hand, certainly less tedious.

I still have a lot of berries to pick and more ready each day. My freezer is filling with quart bags of blueberries and I am wondering what in the world am I going to do with all these berries?

Should I try my hand at making jam?

I know I want to make a cobbler, or two, or three.

I just don’t know what I should do with them. I have never really done anything with blueberries before.

Do you have a suggestion? A favorite “easy” recipe using blueberries. (Please note the word, easy!) If you do, would you share it?

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