Author Archives: BetsyM.

blueberries

4 Tips for Successful Blueberry Picking

Ah yes, that plump little berry with that sweet, yet tart, bursting flavor that takes over your mouth and has you yearning for more…..

 

July is National Blueberry Month, and it’s perfect blueberry picking time here in northern Minnesota.  Picking wild blueberries is a great way to enjoy being outdoors, and you get to take home lots of blueberries to eat.  (Who wouldn’t want that?)  Here, we’ve included some tips for wild blueberry picking along with a couple recipes for you….good luck, and enjoy!

 

1. What to wear:

2. What to bring:

  • A Duluth Pack with food and water to sustain you for the day
  • Insect repellant and sunscreen
  • Several 5qt plastic ice cream buckets for carrying berries
  • A compass to keep you going in the right direction
  • A buddy!  Never venture into the woods alone – always have someone with you.  It can be easy to be focused on the picking, and before you know it, you’re not sure where you are or how you got there.

3. Where to go and what to look for:

  • Most serious blueberry pickers have an “I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you” kind of attitude when it comes to revealing their secret blueberry picking spots.  Nonetheless, be on the lookout for blueberry bushes along high, sunny trails or on the hills among rocks and cliffs.
  • Also, finding trails around previous years logging sites might lead you to some blueberry bushes.
  • Stay away from thick bushes and swamps (you’ll just get wet and scratched up, not to mention eaten alive by mosquitoes!).

4. Picking blueberries:

  • Since the bushes are low to the ground, you’ll want to kneel and use both hands.
  • Ripe blueberries are a light grayish blue and should be nice and plump.
  • Avoid white or green (unripened), or dark blue berries (over-ripened)
  • Pick the ripe blueberries off the bush and put them in your bucket and continue on.

Once you return home, dump the blueberries on a table covered with a towel and sort out the good ones from the bad ones.

What are your blueberry picking tips and/or amazing blueberry recipes?

Blueberry Drop Cookie Recipe

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (I use Smart Balance sticks in this recipe with great results).
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup white sugar
1 cup fresh (or frozen & thawed) blueberries. (I much prefer fresh, though).

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, egg, and milk. Mix well after the addition of each ingredient. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; blend into the sugar mixture. Fold in the blueberries. Cover and chill for 4 hours (I actually skip this step most of the time, and they still turn out great).
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.
3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen.

 

French Berry Pie

Start with:
2 cups raw berries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Bring them to boil until soft.  Add: 2 tbsp corn starch diluted with water, brandy, lemon juice or orange juice.  When thickened and clear add 2 more cups of raw berries, 1 tbsp butter and 1 tsp cinnamon.  Adding orange or almond extract is optional.

Pour into a baked and cooled pie crust and chill in refrigerator for several hours to set.

We're open!

Duluth Pack Retail Store is Open!

Duluth Pack and all other Canal Park businesses are open!

Due to the recent flooding, there has been a lot of speculation as to the condition of the city of Duluth, especially the Canal Park area.  While numerous homes and roads in Duluth and the surrounding area have sustained damage, the Duluth Pack retail store and all other businesses in Canal Park are open for business.  All hotels, restaurants, and stores are open and eagerly awaiting your arrival!

So, stop on by…..we’re open!!!!

The Wind in My Wheels

Book Reveiw – The Wind in My Wheels: Travel Tales from the Saddle

The Wind in My Wheels

After reading this book, you will definitely want to pull your old bicycle out of the shed and start on your own adventure!  Author Josie Dew recounts 9 different bicycling adventures she set out on, spanning 4 continents and 36 countries.  With all her belongings strapped to her bike, she travels to Africa, Iceland, Italy, France, Morocco, India, Romania, and even a fundraising trek around the United Kingdom in a wheelchair bicycle.  Each adventure is unique and exciting, especially coming from Josie’s perspective.  Reading the tales of Josie and her travels, you find yourself right there with her pedaling hard and fast (or slow and steady), climbing high hills, and dashing down mountains.

Josie has an amazing sense of humor and such a positive attitude!  She always seems to find the positives in a difficult situation.  From struggling up the Alps to fighting torrential downpours, and even through snow and ice, Josie managed to conquer them all – and she kept going! After reading about some trials she endured, I know I would have given up right away.  But Josie has such perseverance and a determination, that I found her to be motivating and inspiring!

A nice addition to the book is that she added a few photo sections.  After reading the descriptions of her experiences, being able to see the photos of those places she visited will make the experience even more real to you.

If you love to bicycle, travel, or even if you just like to read and dream about traveling, I highly recommend reading about Josie Dew and her world traveling adventures!  So grab your Panniers and your gear and get to it!

Some other bicycling books you may find of interest:

Long Cloud Ride: A Cycling Adventure Across New Zealand by Josie Dew

Across America by Bicycle: Alice and Bobbi’s Summer on Wheels by Alice Honeywell

Cycling’s Greatest Misadventures by Erich Schweikher

Two Wheels North: Cycling the West Coast in 1909 by Evelyn Gibb

 

300x250

Love in the Wild Season 2!

Heritage Style Backpack on National TV Show’s 2nd Season

If you’re wondering what backpacks the contestants on the new NBC TV show “Love in the Wild” are wearing, the answer is: it’s the American-made Duluth Pack Wanderer. This pack was chosen because of its durability and ruggedness, which is essential for the contestants on the show.

The Duluth Pack Wanderer is one of Duluth Pack’s most popular products, and has been for many years. Customers appreciate the heritage style, American craftsmanship, versatile size, and unparalleled quality this pack provides. Made of canvas, leather, and metal buckles, this pack is built to carry most anything. The front and side pockets are perfect for holding essentials, keeping them accessible. The roomy interior provides ample space for everything else you need. Whether you’re carrying school books or survival gear, the Wanderer Pack is the backpack you want.

About “Love in the Wild”

This summer, NBC’s “Love in the Wild” returns for the show’s second season with new host Jenny McCarthy, a new location in the tropical paradise of the Dominican Republic, and even wilder adventures chock-full of surprises and dramatic twists. The series puts relationships to the ultimate test with exhilarating and wild adventures that challenge the participants, both physically and emotionally. Single men and single women, all looking for love, will experience a romantic adventure unlike anything they could have ever imagined. Season two of NBC’s “Love in the Wild” will premier on Thursday, June 7th at 8-10pm (EST).

Visit www.DuluthPack.com to see all of our hand crafted canvas and leather bags.

 

 

Hiking the North Shore

Book Review – Hiking the North Shore: 50 fabulous day hikes in Minnesota’s spectacular Lake Superior region

Are you planning a trip to the North Shore and want to hit some great hiking trails?  Well, grab your Duluth Pack, maybe a walking stick, some good shoes, and this book!

Author, Andrew Slade, completed 50 northern Minnesota hikes and gathered very valuable information that you need when deciding on the right trail when planning a trip along Minnesota’s North Shore.  Slade starts south of Duluth in Jay Cooke State Park and heads north all the way to Grand Portage State Park, and he includes just about every amazing trail in between, including the Superior Hiking Trail, the Duluth Lakewalk, Gooseberry Falls Loop, Split Rock, Tettegouche Lakes Loop, and Mount Josephine.

Slade offers insight as to what makes each trail unique, how to find the trailhead, and a detailed description about the trail and the area around it.  For each designated trail, he even includes a map, a scenic photo, as well as basic information which include trail distance, level of difficulty, GPS coordinates, and other helpful tips.  Each hike listed in this book is accompanied with an abundance of information that will undoubtedly get you excited and eager to hit the trails!

Some other interesting books you may want to take a look at:

61 Gems on Highway 61 – $9.95

Lake Superior: Ultimate Guide to the Region – $19.95

Gentle Hikes: Minnesota’s most scenic North Shore hikes under 3 miles – $12.95

Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail – $15.95