Kids, cottage and cobbler

One of the things I love most about my husband, in addition to his great sense of humor, big heart and blue eyes, is his 127-year-old family cottage on an island in Maine.  This magical place is the most amazing playground for our boys, with no cars, just boardwalks and paths through green forests with tall pines, spongy moss floors, fresh natural springs that you can drink right out of, tons of wild blueberry, raspberry and blackberry bushes and even a very cool (slightly dangerous) tree fort in the middle of it all.

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Pulling their own weight.  Everything has to be hauled across the island to the cottage.

Everyone has to pull their own weight.

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Everything has to be hauled across the island to the cottage…

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…including little brothers who get tired.

There’s so much for them to discover whether its under a rock, under the dock (where they love to pull off the mussels), under the seaweed where they find tons of crabs that they fill their pockets with (weird, I know), or under the water where they’ll spend hours casting their rods just waiting for the big one to bite. We’re always guaranteed to have four tired little boys who are ready for bed at the end of each day.
discovery

looking for crabs

looking for crabs

treehouse

looking for trouble

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There are only two rules for the boys on the island: Never leave the cottage without your life jacket on…

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…and never eat berries you don’t recognize. Fortunately, there are tons of wild blueberries, raspberries and blackberries all over the place so there’s always a snack on hand when they’re off on one of their adventures.

making a quick stop to fill up on berries

making a quick stop to fill up on berries

the evidence of a berry good snack

the evidence of a berry good snack

blueberriestwin berries
We ate so many berries in Maine that as soon as we got back to New Hampshire we decided to continue the berry binge and pick our own at Salt Box Farm.  Each of the boys grabbed a bucket and we headed out into the rows of bushes.  As they started picking the tiny berries, I started thinking it was going to take all day to fill up the buckets.
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But just then the sweetest woman,  Miss Muriel,  appeared from around the bend and beckoned us to follow her to where the biggest berries grow.

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After a bit of a hike we arrived at the promised land of big berries.
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And we also met Mr. Charlie who was also picking berries.
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In no time, those buckets started filling up.
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And with a little help from Miss Muriel and Mr. Charlie, everyone ended up with a full bucket.

filling

The grand total: 15 lbs. of berries!!
berries
That night we had Blueberry Cobbler for dessert. A quick and easy dish that is simply delicious! The picture just doesn’t do this justice, you have to try it for yourself! (all recipes at the end of the post).

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The next morning, blueberry yogurt parfaits. The kids were so excited!
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After this brief stop at home we hopped back in the car and headed back to Maine  — bringing our blueberries with us.

car rideWe  caught the 5 o’clock ferry for the island and got there right before dinner time.  Once at the cottage the kids were left in charge of making appetizers while I made dinner.

liamberry4liamberry3liamberry1After stuffing their faces they settled down and came up with this tasty little appetizer.  Pretty good!

cucumber berries
I made a quick poached salmon with blueberry sauce -and the kids ate every bite!

salmondinner sunsetAfter all those berries, there were a lot of purple teeth.  Daddy made sure to clean them all.  Then off to bed for another cozy night at the cottage.
brushing teeth

blueberry cobbler
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • ⅔ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ t baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. combine blueberries, 3 Tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and orange juice in an 8x8 pan.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  5. Drop batter in heaping Tablespoons over berries.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Blueberry Yogurt Parfaits
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup granola (rolled oats tossed with 2 T maple syrup and roasted till crunchy)
  • 1.5 cups greek yogurt
  • honey to taste
Instructions
  1. In a tall glass layer ingredients starting with greek yogurt. drizzle a little honey over the yogurt then top with some granola, followed by berries. Repeat starting with the yogurt and finish with a sprinkling of granola on top.

Salmon with blueberry sauce
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. salmon
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet over medium high and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the salmon to the pan and cook until the bottom starts to brown. Flip the salmon and cover the pan with a lid for about 4 minutes, or until the salmon is flaky.
  2. Remove the salmon from the pan and keep warm. Add 1 Tablespoon butter to the pan and 1 Tablespoon butter.
  3. Once melted, add the diced onions to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt and stir for :30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the blueberries, water and balsamic vinegar.
  6. When the berries are warm, mash most of them with the back of a fork and continue to cook and stir until thickened, about 4 minutes.
  7. Serve sauce over salmon.

 

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