Gather blueberries while you may

Maine Wild Blueberries

Blueberries and moss on a granite ledge

Nothing lingers in summer. Things bloom, fruit and fade so quickly I feel as though I am living in a time-lapse video. I gather chanterelles, and over my shoulder see Amelanchier berries, plump, deep purple, ripe and ready. Oh, and the sumac is at its prime.

In the garden the peas need picking, I planted way too much mustard, and the potatoes have bright orange potato beetle eggs that should be removed. But wait, it’s blueberry season, and a granite ledge near my house has long stretches of low shrubs that for some reason no one else has picked yet. Summer is a race just to keep up with all our wonderful gifts of the earth.

This season is speeding by at warp time. The blues are at their peak, and I collected them with my husband, in recovery from a hip replacement, our son-in-law, and his daughter.

When I sit with a basket at my feet, in the warm sun, swatting a horseflies and being silent or talking about things, any things, the world finally stops that mad spin, and I can take a deep breath.

We spent only an hour, but it was flattening and grounding–except for the horseflies. I don’t like horseflies. Ally, my husband’s granddaughter, flapped her hands and dodged and ducked, and kept moving to keep from being bitten.

Energetic blueberry picker

Energetic blueberry picker

We filled our baskets and had loads of berries for she and her dad to eat as they went home. We had enough to make a batch of salad dressing, and even some for blueberry sauce, intended for a blueberry shortcake. We are not sweet eaters, so not sure yet who will get that.

But you, dear readers, get the blueberry vinaigrette recipe. We use our own maple syrup, and use it generously, but the dressing is a tad sweet, so cut back on the maple syrup if you wish.

Toss this on greens, or on a bowl of thin sliced cucumbers and mustard leaves, and take a moment to stop running the summer race and just be.

Blueberry Vinaigrette
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
A robust vinaigrette, good on strong flavored greens, and with a veined cheese, such as Stilton. I also use it on grilled deer meat.
  • ½ cup fresh Maine blueberries
  • ½ c olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2T maple syrup ( or one)
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender or processor, pulse,
  2. Put in a jar to store in the fridge.
  3. I did try just smashing the blueberries and mixing them with other ingredients, as I don't use electric appliances unless I have to, but they diffused better with the processor.

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Karen O. Zimmermann

About Karen O. Zimmermann

Karen O. Zimmermann savors chance encounters with people throughout the state of Maine, and is endlessly delighted with the tales they have to share.