The Sprouts: Kuplink, Kuplank, Kuplunk!

When my parents were visiting a few weeks ago we spent a day blueberry picking. The last couple of years we picked at a farm in Michigan that was donated as a park. Nothing beats free berries!!! Of course if you live in Northern Minnesota, there are lots of free wild berries, but we are still waiting for one of the locals to share their secret spots! So instead, we headed to Shary’s Berries. As we were picking, I heard kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk in Skoogie and O’s direction.

I kept saying the phrase, and then heard laughter. O chuckled and said Blueberries for Sal as he showed me his blueberry tongue and hands! Being able to eat sweet, juicy blueberries right off the bushes definitely motivates our kids to come along. Despite the snacks, we still ended up with 50 pints stored away in our freezer and will enjoy pulling them out for oatmeal, pancakes, muffins and other treats throughout the year.

Today was a blueberry kind of day. This morning after having a few bowlfuls of oatmeal and blueberries, we read Blueberries for Sal. As we read along, our three-year old daughter proclaimed, not all of the blueberries are blue, some are red, white, green. I could tell she was very proud of this observation, so paused to say, ‘Exactly, you are so right!’ We talked a little bit about all the different colors a blueberry changes as it ripens. She is a very visual learner. I’m always trying to find different ways to help her make associations and explorations. The author of Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey, used very fine lines to draw the bears, the clothing and landscape. So as we continued reading, I asked her to help me find all the different lines. Later in the day I thought a scratch art project might be fun and a great way to extend the learning. We first colored on paper with white crayon and then painted over the crayon with blue paint. We used acrylic paper but you could also use cardstock or cardboard. The kids didn’t understand what we were doing at first. But once the paint was dry they had so much fun drawing lines and experimenting with chopsticks, paper clips, keys, a small screwdriver, and a plastic knife. As you can see Skoogie really got into the LINES! And our 5 year old drew fish being chased by a Cretoxyrhina, a large shark that lived during the Cretaceous period (we won’t go into his learning style right now!).

But I will share O’s recipe for oatmeal:
Measure the ingredients and cook the oatmeal on the stove. Put some frozen blueberries on the bottom and then scoop on some oatmeal. The blueberries help cool it down. Then put on your favorite fruit, cinnamon, honey, and a little buttermilk. Never stop with one bowl!

We also enjoyed a friend's DELICIOUS blueberry muffins as part of our lunch. Maybe she will share the recipe. It was definitely a berry of a day!

Other berry books to enjoy:
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
Peter in Blueberry Land by Elsa Beskow
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban

Do you have other berrylicious books that you enjoy reading? Please share.

Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Here's the recipe!

This is based on the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book muffin recipe:

1 3/4 c spelt flour
1/3 c unrefined sugar
2 t baking powder
1 beaten egg
3/4 c plain soy milk
1/4 c canola oil
1 1/3 c blueberries (you can use less, but we like lots of berries!)

Mix dry ingredients. Beat egg and combine with milk. Add wet to dry, mixing until just combined. Fold in blueberries. Fill greased muffin tin 2/3 to 3/4 full per cup. Makes 8 larger muffins or 12 smaller muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. Cool several minutes in the muffin pan. Cool the rest of the way in a paper bag.


Oh Yum! Those will be going in the lunch box!

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