The Story of the Letters
By: Chelsey Keeler
Author of this cookbook, compiler of the recipes, and recipient of the letters
Actually, it all started when my Grandma replied to a gentleman in Country Magazine telling him about the Oregon School House, a local one-room schoolhouse built in 1869. He later wrote back stating that he had gotten about 100 letters from interested readers on his requested topic. That seemed to be the ultimate for me; I didn’t think that I had gotten a total of 100 letters addressed to me in my whole life, all twelve years. Grandma then came up with the suggestion that I write in to Country Magazine inquiring about blueberry recipes from each state. I did, but then tried not to get my hopes up; there was no way 100 people would take time out of their hectic lives to write to a twelve-year-old.
I was never more wrong, as previously stated, the letters and packages simply poured in. One day I even caught myself being disappointed at only 20 letters in the mailbox. Then when the rush slowed down to about two a day, I stopped being overwhelmed and finally began to appreciate every single letter, all 1000+ of them. Time and time again, I have marveled at how the two words “blueberry recipes” could bring back such powerful memories for people, and that they were so generous to include me in on them. It was wonderful to be drawn into someone’s life and reminisce about how delicious Aunt Lena’s coffee cake tasted or how serene it was to sit in the sun soaked fields with friends, picking the hours away.
To answer some of the questions people asked: The types of blueberries that we grow on our High Bush plants are Blue Crop, Duke, Collins, Northland, Blue Ray and Blue Jay.
As a disclaimer, I would like to say that as much as I would have enjoyed trying every recipe that was sent in, I did not have the time to sample them all. The recipes in the book were printed as they were written and received with no claim, so as I have done with many of the recipes, please enjoy and have fun with as many of them as you can.
I have included excerpts of letters from each State and Country so that you many enjoy a few of the personal bits of information that were shared with me. I wish I could have printed them all. It was so interesting to hear everyone’s personal stories involving blueberries. After receiving so many notes and recipes, it became evident that a collection of them should be shared with others from the ones that so generously shared with me.
Included in one of the letters, it stated how Robert Frost once wrote a poem entitled “Blueberries.” After reading it, I knew it had to be a part of the book, as it is so wonderfully expressed. “The blue’s but a mist from the breath of the wind.”
Thanks so much for this opportunity, and I hope this cookbook is enjoyed by all.
Peek-A-Blue Berry Farm
Bring a part of America home to your kitchen. Purchase the Blueberry Cookbook
Story Behind the Blueberry Cookbook
Letter From Chelsey, compiler of the Blueberry Cookbook
Sample Blueberry Recipes
Blueberries For Life