Okay, I’ve been slacking. I apologize. It’s been a bit of a tumultuous week, and last weekend, my partner and I replaced the rear rotors and brake pads on my new-to-me vehicle. You’ll recall that my vehicle was stolen – click here to read my open letter to the thief. I’m one of those weirdos that names some inanimate objects, and this new ride is no exception. Her name is Eleanor, and she’s a 2006 Audi A3. She’s older, but she’s still a rocket, and beyond a few tune-ups and required maintenance, she’s been a joy to drive.
Well, enough about that.
Two weeks ago, on my birthday weekend, my man and I took a trip to The Saskatoon Farm, located in Okotoks, Alberta. The Saskatoon Farm is a nursery, u-pick, restaurant, and market rolled into one family-friendly package. It’s been on my “to-do” list for a couple of years, because berries and all the pie.
What we didn’t realize, when we arrived, is that saskatoon berry season is over. We were told there wasn’t much point to wandering through the bushes, because whatever berries remained were shriveled and dried. This didn’t stop us, and we ventured out, with a crate that we brought from home (anticipating a bountiful harvest) and meandered through the rows searching for suitable fruit.
There was little to be found, until we found a few bushes that had been overlooked. Seemingly sheltered from the sun, these bushes were still full of plump berries. Naturally, I ate as many as I contributed to our basket. After a couple of hours, we opted to call it quits. We were happy with the results – worst case scenario was turning these berries into more jam.
I ventured off into another part of the u-pick area and stumbled upon the sour cherry patch, which was gleaming with juicy cherries. I found an ice cream bucket on the ground and started picking, managing to fill it halfway before realizing that my other half was waiting for me. A brief phone conversation to relay our coordinates to each other, and he realized he was standing within spitting distance of a sour cherry tree FULL of berries. He picked those, and added them to our bounty.
The staff was impressed with our dedication, and after picking up a few saskatoon bushes for our yard, we ventured into the restaurant for lunch. I was borderline “hangry,” so we settled on seats at the bar and ordered a couple of beers within minutes. The cuisine was Mexican, mimicking the chefs’ heritage. My partner ordered a lovely spicy chicken sandwich with fresh vegetables and sprouts, and I ordered a chicken enchilada. Refried beans are one of my weaknesses, and this enchilada was perfect – cheesy, bean-y, and full of delicious.
We couldn’t end our afternoon without some dessert, and we each ordered a saskatoon and apple crisp, served à la mode. It was incredible – sweet and tart, with a crunchy crumble and beyond creamy ice cream. The ice cream is even made on-site.
I can’t wait to come back, and I already entered a date into my mobile calendar. Until then, keep calm and shove saskatoon berries into your face!