If you happen to live in or around Richmond, you’re likely hot, too, and it’s possible you’ve come across the most recent issue of  R•Home .  You know, you really should buy it. I don’t know who could resist this cover:

You don't want to miss this--

Ok, if Maureen Egan’s Hot Fun in the Summertime line sells more copies than usual, I’m wondering what demographic they’ve started to target. I’m worried. But it’s good for a chuckle any day.  I won’t give away my latest At Home column’s subject matter, but let’s just say the title (which I did not write) is just a tad misleading.

My idea of hot summer fun is actually blueberry picking at Swift Creek Berry Farm on Genito Rd. in Chesterfield County. It’s one of the rare times I’m happy to venture down the Powhite past Rt.288. It’s my favorite place for blueberries because their high bushes produce blueberries that are as good as real honest-to-goodness New Jersey blueberries–and I don’t mean the ones that are mass-produced in Hammonton, NJ. These suckers take me back to the blueberries of my  Cape May, NJ summers of yore.  They are perky and tasty and blue.

I picked every last one of 'em.

What more could you want from a food that isn’t chocolate? To my way of thinking, there just isn’t enough blue food in the world–and I don’t mean fake blue food. There’s too much of that.

Some people I know, some I even consider friends, think blueberries are not worth the picking. They believe blueberries are available in the local grocery store. There are blue berries there, but if you want blueberries that taste like blue food is supposed to taste like, i.e. not bland, then you are going to have to go pick them yourself or find a good farmers’ market.  I have it on faith that Swift Creek Berry Farm will sell its berries at  St. Stephen\’s Farmers\’ Market if you are not inclined to do the picking yourself. I won’t think that ill of you.  But don’t expect to see your name on the cover of a mag until you do some not so heavy lifting. Here I will admit to employing a device that goes beyond the pale (haha–old Irish reference yet a pun on pail as in plink, plank, plunk of Blueberries for Sal–Can you tell I was an English major? Try to keep up.) of hot summertime fun activity.  Due to the ingeniousness of my pal Amy, when we go picking, we bring along luggage straps with two clips on them so we can suspend the bucket from the strap around our necks and pick with two hands. Thankfully no photos exist showing this device in action. I’m pretty sure we looked hot though. At least now you get the picture of what hot summertime fun really is all about though to further confuse the issue, none of this blueberry stuff has anything to do with the column I wrote for the Hot Issue, so you still need to buy it.

Not to overwhelm you with fun or be bossy or anything, but to fully participate in my hot summer fun, you need to take your fresh-picked blueberries and go home and make (and eat) Blueberry Salsa Salad. It’s almost as fun to say as it is to eat.  That and some good bread and you have a perfect summertime dinner that isn’t hot at all.

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