Fruits Of The Earth

June 15, 2008

Harvest time!! Blackberry picking was a success and our zucchini was ready to be eaten. Food is cool.


I was hard at work writing my third paper of the weekend while the husband slaved over the stove making us delicious blueberry pancakes ! We used our favorite whole grain mix, which I love because it has cornmeal in it for lots of texture: Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Buttermilk . Plus a handful of fresh blueberries.

I topped mine with a bit of Smart Balance and of course had some maple syrup on the side –

Along with a slice of honeydew

Hunting + Gathering

After digestion and more studying, we set out for our old neighborhood for a run and some blackberry picking . We went there a few weeks ago and they weren’t ripe, so since the ones near our house have ripened we figured these would be ready too. After 4.5 miles of running in the hot sun, we walked another mile or so and there were NO berries ! They were either unripe, dried and dead, or picked. We headed home with only about a cup.

But then the husband suggested we try the bushes by in our new neighborhood and sure enough, we found TONS of them hidden down the hill. It was dirty and hot, but we came home with over two pounds!!! (Sorry Maran, we picked them all!)

Take that $3.99 a pint!

The husband recently read in Cooks Illustrated a technique to preserve berries: soak them for a few minutes in a 1:3 ratio of white wine or cider vinegar to water. Then rinse and pat dry. Supposedly the acidity of the vinegar discourages bacteria growth. I hope it works because I HATE washing berries right before I need them and dirtying the colander 10x a day.

Zucchini Harvest

While we were on the hunt for food, we decided it was time to pick our first zucchini ! The bush is HUGE! We grew this guy from a tiny seed. Amazing. Last year the deer ate our plants, but we’ve invested in some ‘Deer Be Gone’ stuff from Lowes that seems to be working (knock on wood).

Here they are! (Note: Those of you with dirty minds, this is the only shape they come in!!)

It did taste a little different. Maybe more metallic or something? But certainly perfectly ripe and fresh.

Late Lunch

Berry picking pushed lunch back to around 2pm. Amazing how long breakfast lasts when you’re busy having fun.

I made a Ham + Cheddar + Pickle panini on a TJ’s frozen whole wheat bun . These do freeze really well.

Plus Tripleberry Yogurt : Blue, Black, Wheat.

And the zucchini with some lentil dip :

It was a very filling lunch –

But I was craving some cool strawberry ice cream and had two spoonfuls straight from the carton for dessert :)

After some more studying, my mouth just wanted to CHEW . I kept thinking about snacks but was still very full from lunch, so I had some gum. Worked like a charm.

Back to the books until 6:00 when it’s symphony picnic time !!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 amethyst June 15, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Lucky you with your early blackberries Kath! They look great, they’ll be fab in smoothies; we don’t get them here (in the UK) until late August:-(

Have you tried cooking the zucchini flowers? I also love the veg raw in salads (grated) and love them grilled in long slices…mmm! Bon appetit!


2 Katy June 15, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Your blackberry harvest sounds so exciting! I’m in Seattle and our berries are probably a month or so behind yours – but when they are ripe – there are a ton!!! We pick a bunch and make jam to give as gifts at Christmas and then we freeze a lot to have on hand all year long. We freeze them on a cookie sheet for about 4 hours and then throw them in a vacuum sealer bags and seal them up. They are delicious in smoothes and as toppings all year long!


3 erica June 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm

All of those blackberries.. yum!

And you just can’t go wrong w/ blueberry pancakes. We had practically the same breakfast.


4 Jen June 15, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Hey this question goes for everyone who can answer:
Are the calorie counters on workout machines reliable? I’m trying to manage my “calories in/calories out” and wonder whether i can use the machines to tell me how much i’ve burned?


5 sirenjess June 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Jen, unfortunately the machine calorie counters are not that reliable. I would invest in a heart rate monitor. I got the f11 polar yesterday and used it today. I had the f4 or f6 (can’t remember) but needed a new one because my old one did not have the own code (meaning it would cross interfere with other monitors). Hope this helps.


6 Katie June 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm

I know I hate that berries are super expensive and you can eat a whole package in like 5 seconds! 2 lbs is impressive!

How did you freeze the tj’s buns? My frozen bread type products always come out icy.

And the milk description in the bars you gave was great!


7 VeggieGirl June 15, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Such gorgeous blackberries and zucchini!!

Have fun at the picnic!


8 Kelly L. June 15, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Hi Kath- What is your favorite kind of gum?


9 Romina June 15, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Wow those zucchini are huge!! Can’t wait for mine to get that big.


10 hk June 15, 2008 at 4:22 pm

jackpot!! awesome blackberry harvest :) very jealous, nothing beats fresh picked…enjoy!


11 Little Black Dress June 15, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Sounds like an amazing morning. It’s posts like that that make me sometimes wish I didn’t live in the “big city”!


12 Maran June 15, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Sounds like you owe me some blackberries 😉 i can’t believe you found all those right by our houses!! I also can’t believe I forgot all about the symphony! I am so sorry! Joe has been waiting all week to make those damn ribs so we have to stay in tonight. Next weekend? Glad to see you had a productive weekend! Maybe lunch on Friday??


13 Theresa June 15, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Jen, it seems to me that my heart rater monitor typically says I burn 200 (!) calories LESS than the machine will say on an elliptical, and maybe 100 or so less than what the stair mill says. I don’t know if you’ve ever done the stair mill but it is hard and if you are on another machine, not working quite as hard, but the machine says you are burning just as many calories, you can probably be confident that the machine is overestimating!


14 Allison June 15, 2008 at 6:05 pm


The arc trainer elliptical (squirrel elliptical Kath calls it) says I burn about 400 calories MORE than my heart rate monitor does. But I believe the heart rate monitor based on just how hard I feel like I am working. My gym has new stair mills and they come the closest of all the machines to what my hrm says, but they are still slightly higher. I have read that even if you put in your weight, they aren’t that accurate because they are based on men not women.


15 dc_rd June 15, 2008 at 6:47 pm

did you know that the more you pick from zucchini plants the more they produce? its best not to let them sit too long/get TOO big or the plant won’t produce as much…i’m still waiting for mine (just flowers so far!)


16 yaz June 15, 2008 at 8:06 pm

I am also waiting for my zucchinis… meanwhile my blueberry bush is going crazy and I’ve been having blueberry everything. My bell peppers are also comming along just fine.

I am so happy ’cause it’s the first time i’ve ever done this.

Have you planted any other vegtables, K?


17 lara June 15, 2008 at 9:13 pm

It’s great how you grow your own produce!

What brands/kinds of ice cream do you like to eat/buy? Ice cream is one of my favorite foods! I could never stop at two spoonfuls like you!!


18 Kath June 15, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Jen ,
Check out FAQ Exercise question #2. I find them ALL to be over, although I agree the StepMill seems to be more accurate than others.

Katie ,
I put the buns in a ziplock bag, sucked all the air out and sealed it well. They were icy looking, but they tasted fine after being microwaved. I think the key to freezing bread is 30 seconds in the microwave.

Kelly L.,
Hands down Orbit Sweet Mint. But if you haven’t read before, I don’t chew gum anymore – maybe once a week at the most. I had digestive issues for over a year and read a case study in Dr. Weil’s book about a woman who had severe IBS that was found to be caused by sugar-free gym. I quit my 4-5 pieces a day and sure enough, cured of my troubles. So I stay away from it except when I really need to chew.

Maran ,
We’ll be there next weekend :)

yaz ,
Jalapenos, tomatoes, peppers, squash and herbs. Can’t wait for them all!

lara ,
I buy Harris Teeter All Natural, or Breyers when it’s on sale. See this post’s comments for more of my ice cream info:



19 Suzanne June 15, 2008 at 9:23 pm

ah, the fruits of summer! You are so lucky you can pick your own. I live in the Garden State, but I still have to shell out a lot of money for berries around here. :(

I have a question about wheatberries. I just bought my first bag of Bob’s Red Mill hard red berries (just like you recommended). I just put in 1 cup of berries + 3.5 cups of water in a pot. I plan to leave it overnight.

However, I just realized – I’m not going to be cooking them until dinner time tomorrow. it’s 10:20 pm now – so they’ll be soaking all night tonight and all day tomorrow while we’re at work. Should I pop them in the fridge in the morning? Or is it ok to leave them out on my counter all night and all day? It gets kind of hot in the house since we don’t turn on the AC when no one is home. I don’t want them to go bad or anything.

Also, if I have excess – how do I store them? And how long will a wheatberry salad last in the fridge?

Help! Thanks, Kath!



20 Suzanne June 15, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Oh, I just missed ya. I see that you already posted replies.

Hopefully you can answer before tomorrow morning – but I know it’s late. Maybe I’ll pop them in the fridge tomorrow before I leave for work.

I see that in your reply about gum – you said you had digestive problems for a year? I have IBS – not to severe – but enough to give me problems every few days. I stay away from trigger foods and I’m also lactose intolerant. So when I hear that others experience/have experienced similiar issues – I like to hear what works for them. Glad to hear you are rid of your digestion woes! If only I were too!


21 Suzanne June 15, 2008 at 9:38 pm

what kinds of digestion problems did you have? was cutting out gum the sole remedy? What else did you do to alleviate it? I always never feel 100% with my digestive issues…so any info would be helpful. thanks!


22 Caroline June 15, 2008 at 11:36 pm

I am so jealous of all your blackberries! I usually have to settle for frozen since fresh are so expensive! Does anyone know how long blackberry season is?


23 Jill June 16, 2008 at 12:26 am

Man am I jealous! Or veggies aren’t even close to being ready to eat, your growing season is so far ahead of us :(.

You should try hair for keeping rabbits, deer, and other ‘thieves’ away, they are afraid of the human scent and so don’t bother the plants. It’s amazing and safe for the environment and plants.


24 Kath June 16, 2008 at 6:11 am

Suzanne ,
You can leave the WB out, but putting them in the fridge shouldn’t hurt. They should last at least a week in the fridge. Just like rice.

Digestive “issues” were constipation like but it wasn’t constipation. Quitting gum cured me 100% as the only variable I changed.

We have heard that – The hub wanted to put OTHER PEOPLE’s hair in our garden. Ewwww!! I would put ours though. We’ve read dryer sheets too. But so far this magic deer juice seems to be working.



25 Trish June 16, 2008 at 9:38 am

I just came across your site and just wanted to say I love it. You have a very balanced view of many things. Keep up the positive influence and thank you for sharing it!


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