We Found Our Thrills: Blueberries, Picking and Eating Them

By Judy Allen / Photography By Brooke Allen | Last Updated May 01, 2015
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picking blueberries

There are a few weeks out of the year in which our part of the state is close to perfect: The days are warm and the nights still carry a slight chill, the school year is coming to an end and berries of all kinds are ripe for picking off of bushes all over Oklahoma.

There are a few weeks out of the year in which our part of the state is close to perfect: The days are warm and the nights still carry a slight chill, the school year is coming to an end and berries of all kinds are ripe for picking off of bushes all over Oklahoma.

We decided to take advantage of this abundance and headed out for a morning of blueberry picking and—who’s kidding who?—a bit of eating!!

There are U pick ‘em locations all across northeast Oklahoma and, lucky for us, thanks to a mild winter the berry bushes were loaded. Picking your own supply can be a fun (and less expensive) way to accrue a good amount of fruit, so we packed up the kids and headed to Thunderbird Berry Ranch in Broken Arrow.

We arrived, slathered on sunscreen and insect repellant, grabbed our pails and headed out to find the best row in which to start. Our young assistants were eager to pick, but came with quite an appetite, creating more work for us all. After an hour or so our buckets (as well as theirs) were too heavy to carry, and the sun’s rays were getting to us, so we paid for our load and sat on a picnic bench to plan what we might do with our sudden windfall of blueberries. Up first, we will freeze the extras on rimmed baking sheets lined with paper towels then transfer them to zip-top bags to use when the urge strikes.

These recipes cover all the bases—barbecue, snack time, breakfast and, of course, pie! This is not your typical blueberry pie, however. We took a pan full of ripe berries and turned them into a luscious curd, poured it into a flaky pie shell, then topped it all with marshmallowy meringue.

Blueberry Meringue Pie

Blueberry Meringue Pie
Lemon may be the most popular curd, but we are in love with this sweet, tart and gorgeously hued blueberry version.

Blueberry-Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Blueberry-Bourbon BBQ Sauce
This zesty sauce is super easy—stir, simmer and sauce it up! Lacquer it over everything from grilled chicken to salmon to pork ribs. Or serve it alongside your favorite roast, stir it into...

Blueberry Syrup

Blueberry Syrup
Homemade fruit syrups taste more like fruit than sugar, and are not as thick or cloying as the supermarket variety. This recipe makes more than you’ll need for breakfast, but this gorgeous-hued...

Pickled Blueberries

Pickled blueberries
Pickling these typically sweet berries transforms them into little pucker bombs, a wonderful pairing to rich goat-milk cheese and salty crostini.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup
We used Fairview’s Best organic whole wheat flour from John’s Farm. Available at Whole Foods.

Local U Pick ‘Em Locations

u-pick blueberries
As much as we would love to have a field of wild berry bushes, with unlimited picking rights, the reality is that we have neither the space...
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