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Posts tagged ‘blueberries’

#330daysofbiking Days 101 & 102: 1879 – nothing happened

... and in 1875, Hugh Martin explodes (?!) ~ sidewalk timeline, Dayton, TN

It has been a rather crazy couple of days — at least more eventful than 1879, in any case.

I know this is a biking blog, and I really do try to keep these posts about biking stuff … so forgive me if I lose the thread a bit with this one.  There are bikes involved, I promise, but this is going to end up being a picture story.  Bike stuff and non-bike stuff, I will forewarn you. (Hey – I am not making anyone read this, so I don’t want to hear any complaining… 😉 ).

Day 101 – Began the day with some bike commuting; a swim, some errands, and a stop at the bookstore for a new NYT crossword book (my brain needs more exercise than my arms and legs, trust me) and a glass of pomegranate green tea.  Ahhh…

bike, tea, brain exercise

In the evening, we headed to Chattanooga ….

Chattanooga at night - Market Street

… because the boys’ band, The Night Shines, was playing at the Mosaic.  Best show ever for them 🙂

Boaz (vocals), Grant (bass)

The Mosaic was a pretty cool place – music, original art, and … a bike.

(digitally manipulated) bike inside the Mosaic

Day 102.  Headed to nearby Dayton, TN, home of one of the most infamous publicity stunts/evolution-creation circuses of the 20th century – the Scopes “Monkey” Trial.  (I write this, hanging my head in, well … embarrassment). Also the site of the above sidewalk timeline (lol), evidence that plenty of goofy stuff apparently has happened – and not happened – in Dayton.

Each year on the anniversary of the trial, Bryan College and people of Dayton put on a big re-enactment of the whole show-down – which just happened to be taking place this weekend.  Gah!  Our only reason for going to Dayton today was for a stop at their local music shop – Grant was looking to buy a new bass guitar, and had found one here.   The music store sits directly across the street from the courthouse where the whole Monkey Trial anniversary party was happening.  It was, er, … interesting.

The Rhea County Courthouse - home of the Scopes "Monkey" Trial

high wheeler inside the music store - apparently the owner had been riding it on the street for the re-enactment festivities

Grant got his guitar and we headed back home – The Band had another show tonight in Cleveland, and Mark and I were heading over to one of the local vineyards for some blueberry gathering.   It’s been a bumper crop this year; I’ve never seen the bushes so full.  We picked about 13 pounds of delicious berries; just perfect for my favorite No-Bake Blueberry Pie (archives).

bountiful blueberries

a little post-berry-picking wine tasting at the vineyard

Came home (again), tired, but Mark and I decided to head out on the bikes for a dinner date … pizza and salad at our favorite little local spot.  Nice way to end the day, riding home just as darkness settled – lights and plenty of Blinkies.

The end.

(For now, anyway… 😉 )

bicycle pizza date - Dovino's

blueberry hill

One of the prettiest vistas in the county - Morris Vineyard

One of the prettiest vistas in the county - Morris Vineyard

Earlier this week I rode out to Morris Vineyard & Tennessee Mountainview Winery for my annual blueberry picking excursion.  Once out of town, I have to say it’s probably one of the prettiest rides around.  Some lovely shaded back roads wind up to the Vineyard, which has one of the prettiest views of the nearby mountains and Cherokee National Forest

Thanks to the Xtracooler to help be bring the fresh berries home.

Thanks to the Xtracooler to help be bring the fresh berries home.

I grabbed a bucket and hit the berry patch.  I think it was still maybe a week off of peak ripeness time, although I managed to get around 8 lbs. of beautiful plump blueberry goodness.  Only one other couple was out there with me, and they arrived just before I was finishing up.

Last year the boys and I went out twice to pick, bringing home around 17 lbs of berries.  I love blueberries – easy to pick, easy to bag up and freeze. I took along the Xtracooler – nice little narrow ice chest that fits perfectly in the Xtracycle slings – and it was just the thing to get the berries home, cool and undamaged.   I might head out for one more picking session, but we’ll see.  We have plans for heading out of town this next week, and not sure I will be able to squeeze it in.

While I froze most of the haul, I kept out a few cups to make a super-delicious “No-Bake Blueberry Pie”.  I adapted the recipe slightly from one that was published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.  It is very quick and easy, and I love that it maintains that fresh bluberry firmness and burst of flavor; it’s not as sweet/syrupy as a traditional pie.  Highly recommended!

NO-BAKE BLUEBERRY PIE

9-inch crumb pie crust (cookie crumb crust as follows, or other purchased crust – shortbread or graham would work well)

6 cups fresh blueberries, divided*

1/4 C sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water

1 Tbs unsalted butter

1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

sweetened whipped cream (optional)

*Note on blueberries: this pie will be exceptionally delicious when you pick your own local blueberries, and travel by bicycle to the blueberry patch!  Trust me – it really makes a difference! 🙂

Combine 2 cups blueberries, sugar and 2 Tbs water in a saucepan and bring to a full boil.  Stir in dissolved cornstarch/water mixture and return to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, butter, lemon juice and remaining blueberries.  Spoon into crust and let stand for 3 hours or until set.  Top with whip cream.

COOKIE CRUMB CRUST

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (process in food processor)

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

1/3 cup sugar

Combine crust ingredients and press into 9-inch pie plate (bottom & sides).  Bake at 400’F for 10 minutes and cool on rack.  Fill with No-Bake blueberry filling (above).

The No-Bake Blueberry Pie ... it's quite delicious!

The No-Bake Blueberry Pie ... it's quite delicious!