U PICK AND A PUNCH!
We’ve been thinking about doing posts and recipes beyond ‘Traditional South Indian’ for quite some time now. While we started this blog mainly to document our traditional dishes, being ardent foodies, we do eat numerous other dishes from different states, and all across the globe – as long as they are vegetarian! I have kept postponing posting other dishes – mainly thinking we’ll do it, when we make our own site, in our own domain with our own design – and then we can have several sections, videos ..blah.. blah…blah…
Well I haven’t yet been able to all that yet, and by the looks of it may not happen in a looooong looong time! And so … with Chitra Amma visiting my brother in Portland, and sharing all these exciting travelogues, food experiences – I decided not to wait for any ‘muhurtam’ (auspicious moment)!! We will of course continue with the traditional recipes as well!
And so we begin with our first in a new series of different tastes – called U Pick and a Punch …and a Smoothie as well.
On a Lazy Saturday Portland morning a friend of ours called up to say that they were in a ‘U PICK’ blueberry farm and asked us if we were interested to join them. A number of 'U PICK' sign boards on many intersecting highways have been attracting my attention all along and I was only too glad to grab this opportunity to get a first hand experience of this mysterious ‘U PICK’.
After a twenty-minute drive from home we reached a blueberry farm with the 'U PICK' signboard. We parked the car and walked towards a shack with a counter, where a number of plastic buckets were stacked up. We picked up a bucket and walked across the fence and entered the farm.
It was an expansive piece of land under the bright sun with rows and rows and rows of blue berry bushes, positioned like an army of disciplined soldiers wearing green and blue uniforms. We were amazed to see the bushes about four feet tall, weighed down with thousands of bunches of blueberries covering them from top to bottom. The surplus yield was a feast to the eye.
Picking the berries was great fun. With just one touch the ripe berries rolled down into our palms without any resistance. The two little tots of our friend toddled under the bushes and picked up the berries from the bottom, while we took care of the top most ones. We also ate some berries as we picked and they tasted juicy, pulpy and moderately sweet. Blue berries are anti cholesterol, antioxidant and anti carcinogenic fruits. No wonder there were a number of people hovering over the bushes to exploit the richness of the berries during the season.
The bucket was only half full, but when weighed at the counter we were delighted to note that we had picked up nearly five to six pounds of blueberries and we paid only one thirds of what we would pay at the stores.
After dinner as we sat on the deck, ruminating on U picking, my son surprised us with a luscious and nutritious blueberry smoothie which he had just prepared. And here is how he made it.
Strawberries – 1 cup
Ripe banana – 1
Vanilla ice cream – 4 scoops
Fat free milk – 4 cups
Sugar – 1 tbsp
1. Blend blueberries, strawberries and peeled banana with sugar.
2. Add ice cream and blend.
3. Finally add milk and run the blender for one more minute until you get a thick frothy smoothie.
Each sip was a treat in itself and the taste buds yearned for more! The next day he prepared a PUNCH. There was a blueberry treat every day until all the berries we picked were exhausted!
To make FRUIT PUNCH blend ice, with blueberry, banana, strawberry and orange juice. Enjoy!