You heard right. Blueberries. Don’t worry, this isn’t a repeat of the strawberries post. There isn’t the same level of commitment between Swedes and blueberries. Unfortunately (?).
Just because the love (addiction) isn’t the same, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge. The blueberries are flourishing because of the crazy rain we’ve had. So strap on those rain boots and hit the forest!!
After step one is complete (the strapping of boots) take the nearest 10 minute walk into the woods. 15 minutes if you live in a large city center. Do your best to avoid mosquitoes (which surprisingly like me less in Sweden) and ticks (which terrify me) and jump in! If you’re fortunate you’ll quickly find a large patch of blueberries to scavenge.
When Evelina and I ventured into the woods it had just rained, which unfortunately prevented me from “pulling a Sal”. Yes, I am referring to the great literary work by Robert McCloskey. Spoiler alert! Sal finds the perfect blueberry patch to sit down in and eat blueberries all the livelong day. Which was my goal.
Another obstacle in my Sal quest which I didn’t foresee was the size of blueberry bushes in Sweden. First, you should know blueberries in Sweden are smaller than the ones commonly found in the US. When I was young every summer we would climb “Blueberry Hill” and pick (eat) our body weights in berries. (I recently found out this mountain has a real name, but it’s way lamer than Blueberry Hill, so we won’t use it.) At the top of the hill you could plop yourself in a blueberry thicket and be set for the day picking blueberries the size of pennies. That is not the case here in the White North. Blueberries grow very close to the ground, the little bushes really don’t reach higher than my ankles. The blueberries are consequently of proportionate size. Plan to hide in a bush and eat berries: out the window.This turned out to be a good thing, once my initial goal was moot (or moo, any Friend’s fans out there?!), I made a new goal. Pick the most blueberries ever. This evolved into a promise to myself that I wouldn’t eat any blueberries until we were done picking.
This didn’t exactly pan out either. Hint: When your blueberry-picking-parter asks “How many blueberries have you eaten?” You can’t reply with “None.” Your face turns blue. In case you forgot. Which I did. Trying to pretend your cold when called out on this doesn’t work either. Good try though.
In case you’re not convinced of the endless fun that’s associated with blueberry picking, I recommend you, upon immediate arrival in the woods, shout “I’m gonna win!!” and make a bee-line into the forest. Because, yes, this is a competition. Then pick berries like a mad-woman!!
For Evelina and I this was just a friendly afternoon of berry picking. But halfway through the afternoon I decided it was a competition, without telling anyone. And, y’know what, I’m pretty sure I won. What does the winner get you ask?
PIE that’s what. Crumble pie. (Direct translation from the Swedish smulpaj – not sure if it’s a thing in English…but it’s like a cobbler.)
It’s ridiculously easy. Put the blueberries in a pie form. Then mix together 75 grams of butter, 1.5 dl flour, 1.5 dl oats, and a tablespoon of sugar. I like to just pour sugar in until I feel it’s enough (this is how you can tell my diet is going so well). And yes, these are metric measurements. I recommend converting them online, or hitting up your nearest IKEA to get your own deciliter measure (totally worth it). I mix these ingredients with my hands, and then crumble the topping over the pie. Like you’re making a drip sand castle. If you don’t know what that is, I really can’t help you.
Heat at 175 (that’s right, degrees Celsius) for about 25-30 min, checking around the 15 min mark. I like my blueberry pie with vanilla sauce. (The kind you buy at your nearest ICA grocer). Evelina likes the vanilla sauce whipped – which takes an unreasonable amount of time to do. It’s also great with your favorite ice cream flavor, or by itself. If you can get away with it, I recommend eating the entire pie yourself. But the delectable smell of pie in the oven will probably bring people running from a 10 mile radius (US mile this time), so good luck to you.