Friday, August 8, 2008

Dave is on a business trip to SLC which means several things:

A) I miss him

B) The freezing cold fan is not blowing on me all night long

C) I don't even have to think about making dinner- hence my whole afternoon is free free free!

As a celebration of this freedom I decided to take a bike ride. I have a lovely pink beach cruiser with an even lovelier large white basket and just the other day as I was driving home, I spotted some (billions) of blue berries growing wild along a public street just outside the neighborhood. In my excitement (as the backyard blueberry bushes are plucked clean) Dave had to inform me that many berries grow here in Oregon (he named the genus, species and habitat of each), told me many are not edible, and expressed strong doubt in the fact that what I had seen were actually blueberries. I insisted that they were. Today I decided to find out if I was right.

I hopped on my bike (which has been ridden a total- counting today- of four times since I bought it a year ago) and pedaled off with my silver pail. The back tire seemed flattish but what do I know about that so away I went. Two minutes later I was hot and sweating and hating the bike and its tire that seemed to gain ten pound with every house we passed.

I rather slowly dragged myself and the seven thousand pound bike about a mile away to the bushes I'd seen, only to be sorely disappointed. The blue berries were not blueberries. They were the exact same color. The same shape. They were a teensy bit smaller and just absolutely not blueberries. I didn't even bother to get back on the bike in my disappointment. I trudged along next to it feeling sorry for myself. Then I noticed I was no longer walking past blue berry bushes, but bushes of red and black berries that looked exactly like blackberries! Remembering Dave's counsel though, I had little hope that these were actual blackberries.

Probably just another poisonous look-alike, I lamented and kept trudging.

Just at that moment a running man, who was about to pass me on the sidewalk, screeched to a halt in front of me and grabbed two handfuls of the black berries and stuffed them in his mouth! I slowly kept walking, wondering now if I should get some. I stopped and thought about turning around. I peeked over my shoulder to see Running Man consume approximately three pounds of berries in under three minutes and live to run away about it.

Sequence of events:

*I decide the black berries must be blackberries.

*I put on my plucking glove.

*I pluck several hundred of them.

*I learn blackberries have thorns.

*I get stabbed by said thorns approximately 279 times.

*My glove rips in approximately 279 places and I bleed from approximately 279 pores.

*4 massive spiders introduce themselves to me.

*I lose half my berries at each introduction.

*Sweaty, makeup-less, and in old warm-ups, I scrunch my face into the sun, in search of berries higher up, when teenage boys (I imagine) drive by and whoop so loudly I lurch into the bush in shock and momentarily wonder if I'm doing something wrong and the police have caught me.

*I bike home, and develop a disturbing onset of OCD, manifesting itself in the repeated checking (in 5-second intervals) of the back tire's ever-progressing flattness.

Next step: find blackberry recipes!!!

PS- We know I don't like dark berries. I haven't eaten one yet, but I'm not entirely dead-set against the possibility. Progress!!


m-a said...

You CRACK ME UP. I miss listening to your stories. You could try blackberry freezer jam (not as scary as canning). My mom makes the BEST blackberry pies. I really like for recipes. Just search blackberries.

dana said...

um, totally fun adventure. I want wild berry bushes growing in my neighborhood!

m-a said...

I almost could freeze them and them use them for smoothies. Freeze them on a cookie sheet (so they don't stick together, you probably already know that) and then transfer them to freezer bags.

Jessica said...

Thanks for the tips, Mary Ann! And I laughed really hard at the part where you said "you probably already know this". If it has to do with food/cooking/baking it's a pretty safe bet that I don't already know it.

I am going to look on right now!!

Blythe said...

Jessica you are so funny! Your blog is one of the very few that actually makes me laugh out loud. I went blackberry-picking up in Washington one time and afterwards my arms looked like they had been attacked by a wild animal. The thorns were wicked, but the blackberry pie I made was fantabulous!

Julie & Todd said...

I am laughing out loud right now. You are the greatest blog writer ever!