Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Blueberry Plans

I had a big first this morning -- first time I've met someone in person that I previously knew only virtually!  Megan came with me and my husband to boot camp today!  It was fun, though she definitely got to hear a big rant when the instructor got frustrated that people weren't following directions.  Sigh.  And she got more leg exercises than expected.  But Megan, hope you had fun and hope you'll try a few more!  One of my favorite things about working out in general, boot camp, running, whatever, is liking the people doing it with me.  Even during something like a track workout where you're not really talking, feeling like there's someone there who feels your pain, or to give you a little boost of encouragement, makes it all somehow seem easier, less painful, and more fun.  I once answered a very challenging question on this blog about the number one reason that I run.  I struggled a lot to choose one reason, but I ended up picking the social aspect.  And it's not just running, I prefer doing any kind of workout with a friend. 

Anyway, I've been meaning to post about our big Friday plans for this weekend, so here goes. 

Several years ago, my local bestie invited us to join in her family's tradition of going to a nearby city's blueberry festival for the weekend.  This is rare for lazy me, and probably pointless since I doubt I'd click on a link to read about it myself, so why would you, but here's a post about it.  Basically, we end up having a ton of fun.  My bestie's brother-in-law has a craft project at his house -- usually making t-shirts or bags featuring blueberries or something similar.  Dinner in this town (most restaurants have a special blueberry-focused menu), and then out for blueberry cocktails.  A blueberry 5k race (that we've skipped).  Blueberry pancakes served in the town square.  And then attending the blueberry festival -- free popsicles, free water, tons of crafts, groups performing, shopping, etc. 

Then last year, it didn't look like we'd be able to go out of town that weekend, so we decided to plan our own "uptown blueberry festival."  And now it's become this thing that we do with my bestie, her husband, and her sister (and her sister's boyfriend last year), and maybe this year, her niece. 

The main events:
A dinner Friday night featuring blueberries.
A run or race Saturday morning.  If it's not an organized race, my bestie maps a route that looks a little like a blueberry.  This year it will be an organized 4 mile race. 
Breakfast post-run featuring blueberries. 
A craft project.
Hanging out to eat popsicles. 

Last year was pretty awesome.  So it's a high bar this year.  Plus of course, Friday is a very special anniversary.  Trying to see if I can come up with some way to integrate that into the party -- printing out little bios of some soldiers' stories?  Doing little menu cards and naming foods after the beaches?  Take a crack at drawing out a map on our chalkboard tablecloth?  I was actually thinking about playing hooky from work for the first time ever since I figured the History Channel would be doing nonstop features, but it looks like a few hours in the morning, then some non-war stuff, then some non-D-Day stuff, then one show I really want to see in the evening that I'll record.  Hard to believe it's been 70 years! 

The blueberry dinner Friday night is at our house again, so I spent a bunch of time this weekend on Pinterest and elsewhere trying to come up with a great blueberry themed menu.  This is what I came up with:

Blueberry-brie bites (the recipe is for black raspberry-brie bites, but I figure I can modify it)
Hot blueberry cheddar dip with toasts
Blueberry goat cheese salad
Blueberry mushroom risotto
Grilled chicken/tofu with blueberry guacamole
Lemon blueberry layer cake
Yogurt blueberries as a little side dessert snack

I'm still torn on the signature cocktail.  Either a "blueberry basil" cocktail (vodka, seltzer, basil, lemon, blueberries), or a "cranberry blue" (blueberry vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice), or a "blueberry muffin" (which my bestie and I would love, and my husband would probably hate) (blueberry vodka and Irish cream).  Decisions, decisions! 


  1. I love blueberries and the whole weekend sounds like a blast (I love that you incorporated a run/race), but I am drooling over your menu. I see you have your dessert picked out, but one of my absolutely favorite desserts is the Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies from the Veganomicon cookbook. I have served it to coworkers, guests, and other omnivores, and it's always a huge hit.

    1. Hmm, maybe I can make those as little post-blueberry festival pick-me-ups! The recipe def sounds good and it sounds like I could easily omit the almond extract (allergy). If not this week, then I'll try it soon and it's going in the binder for next year's blueberry festival for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Let me know if how you like it if you make it! I think a cocoa bean (chocolate) extract would be a good replacement for the almond extract if you have it, or just use more vanilla.

  2. So cool you had Megan there - maybe someday I'll meet a 'blog friend' in real life! :)

    Definitely love blueberries and back in Mass the Nashoba Winery had a blueberry fest in June then an Apple fest in October, where there would be themed foods and drinks - including wines - and it was a blast for kids and adults!

    My suggestion on the drinks ... yes! Try them all! My preference would be the 'cranberry blue', but they all sound good!

  3. the Blueberry goat cheese salad sounds DELICIOUS!!!

  4. Blueberry mushroom sounds intriguing. The blueberry basil cocktail would be my pick of the drinks. What a fun themed weekend! How fun meeting a fellow blogger. I only know of one other blogger in my area and we work at the same hospital. I inadvertently discovered her blog when I recognized her name in a comment on a mutually read blog.