Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Blueberries for Natty and other Buttner adventures

Monday we went blueberry picking to celebrate Labor Day. It was fabulous. We had been once before we went to Alaska and thought it was the end of the season, but these bushes were still laden with fruit. It's like picking grapes! Or how I imagine picking grapes anyway. Big berries, at standing level, in clusters. So sweet and yummy - I was in heaven. We picked for 40 minutes (eating a lot) and got at least a gallon and a half. How have I gotten to be 36 years old without knowing there are blueberry bushes like this? Well, now I know. Fortunately, our freezer is miniscule and I started work for earnest on Tuesday so I won't turn out like the blueberry girl in "Charley and The Chocolate Factory." Greedy. 

Continuing on the food theme (or rather, backtracking): Saturday we went to the Woodstock Fair. At the end of the day I felt like "The Very Hungry Catepillar" after his binge eating. Murray and I ate: One portion of Ray's Fries, one cannoli, one bratwurst and Sourkraut, one piece of pizza (bought for Natty but she didn't eat much of it - too excited) and one bag of Kettle PopCorn. Then we weren't hungry any more. Too bad we didn't have a nice green leaf to settle our tummies. 
Natty went on a lot of great kiddie rides, including a merry-go-round, a petite rollercoaster, the bouncy castle and many more. She loved them! Murray went on most with her, even though he doesn't like rides, and I went on a few too (pregnancy is a contraindication for most of the rides, even the kiddie ones - go figure. I didn't fit in them anyway). The carnival area is always so surreal. I can't stand it but keep getting sucked in - I always wonder about the ride operators - what kind of short story they'd be in.
We moved to the agricultural area and saw some little kids showing their prize calves - very, very cute. And got to pet a 16 hr old calf. And saw lots of bunnies, chickens and sheep. We watched a cattle pull - which is not that interesting after a few pulls. They hitch the team up, pull the sled about 10 feet, unhitch them, a tractor yanks it back to the start and another team gets hitched up. Now, I'm not saying it wasn't heavy - I couldn't have pulled it - but the process didn't have much drama.  It does give one a clear understanding of how tractors replaced animal labor however.
The horse show was more interesting - and we caught a "period costume" competition. The riders (all women) were riding sidesaddle in pretty dresses. Riding sidesaddle looks precarious to me, so that had some drama. And the pretty horses and pretty dresses got us all ooohing and ahing. 
Since I hadn't been to the AK State Fair in years, going to a fair was overdue and really fun. We all had a great time and are full up until next year. 
A tangential thought that struck me at the fair is how ethnically monoculture this area is. Anchorage isn't exactly NYC, but it's pretty diverse for it's size, and I was expecting at least some ethnic food at the fair. They did have a Thai food stand in with the usual corn dogs and funnel cakes, but that was the extent of it. Interesting. When we pointed it out to a friend who lives here they agreed that the pickings are slim - but this area is rich in pizza places! Pretty funny.
Driving to pick Murray up tonight I decided that a good way to describe NE CT is that it's like an American Shire. It's not an English shire - too sprawling and not tidy enough - but pretty and pastoral with sweet nooks and crannies. Stone walls, green fields and pretty farmhouses. 
After we got back home we went on a walk on the Audabon trail right behind our house  - wandering through a forest with big, grey shelf rocks, crumbling stone walls and beautiful trees. What a lovely place. We're very happy in our little farm cottage. We don't know how long we'll be in this house, but it's cozy and convenient and we're enjoying it for now.

1 comment:

  1. So, easy picking for great big sweet delicious blueberries, hhmmmmm. That is alluring.
    Let's see how the "comments" on this new blog work.
    Love, Mom