In The Country

We went blueberry picking Saturday and had a great time! We drove about 30 minutes from our home although I hear there are some fields closer to us. It was all part of the adventure though.

The place was definitely “country.” Say that word with a southern accent and you get the picture! 🙂

Here’s the kids heading down the path.

Here’s them finishing up picking. I was there, but as usual – behind the camera.

After we were done, we had 4 gallons of blueberries. We were planning on picking five, but we all burned out because of the heat. When we were done picking we paid the lady $25.00 and she offered us some blueberry coffee cake and water. Not wanting to be rude, we went in and had some coffee cake. I had a bite and the kids had small pieces. She cooked it in an 8″ x 8″ pan and had cut the cake into 16 pieces.

Here’s where the “weight loss” part starts. . .

On the way home I told the girls that when you make a small cake like that the “official” serving size usually is 16 pieces. But these days, when “we” cut brownies or coffee cake we only get 9 pieces out of the same size pan! No wonder so many of us struggle with portion control.

I think in the “old fashioned” days people weren’t so inclined to cut huge pieces or eat enormous quantities at one time. It made me think about how much things have changed in just one generation.

It also made me think how we can change things back in one or two generations. I know that’s a long time, but there is hope!

Here’s what four gallons of blueberries looks like spread out on our table. I am going to freeze most of them for use throughout the year. They freeze beautifully and are very healthy for you.

Ever thought about how your parents or grandparents ate? Would they eat huge portions?  Diane

32 thoughts on “In The Country

  1. John says:

    Never really thought about it before. I know how they eat now because of my grandpa’s heart. Nice haul of blueberries!

  2. Susan says:

    I know as my grandma got older she got smaller and ate less. I don’t remember paying attention to how they ate as I was growing up.
    My dad used to eat a lot and a lot at a time especially desserts(icecream).
    My parents and grandparents worked in a field growing up in the south so the “worked” it off and didn’t have to think about calories or portion sizes back then

  3. Sara N. says:

    This is such a good point you make about the serving sizes!! Yes, my grandmother and mother served smaller pieces of cakes, casseroles and even biscuits were smaller. And even though they rarely exercised, neither they nor any of their friends were heavy.

    I have looked at the servings on the box of brownie sometimes (not that I ever make them :)) and noticed it served 16 or 20. I always thought – no way – we are lucky to get 10 or 12. I guess it’s because I cut the pieces too big. No wonder I need to lose weight.

  4. Sharon says:

    Your question brought to mind a memory of both my grandmothers that I had really never connected. I don’t recall ever seeing them eat at all. Their found total pleasure in serving and watching others eat what they had so lovingly prepared. Interesting now to note that neither of them were overweight.

    Gorgeous blueberries! I’m lucky. I have a free source and they come to me already picked.

  5. Moria says:

    I just had to let you know that you are right! I’m not that old (32) but my parents and older relatives just do not eat as much as I do. It’s not their age, but I think that they are just not accustomed to overeating. Even at restaurants they don’t eat that much. Never have.

  6. vickie says:

    we find that we can take one of those single ‘portions’ and then split it into 2-3-4 portions. depending on how many are with us. My girls automatically split most everything – my best example is a peppermint york – which seems small in the world of checkout aisle candy – but my kids split. And after getting used to splitting – eating a whole one is enough to gag.

    my middle (16 years old, girl) was helping at a very large birthday party on Saturday night. I noticed when someone asked for a very small piece of cake – middle would bring them a small piece with ALMOST NO frosting.

    I smiled at that – not sure what the people thought they were getting – but she was thinking what WE would want when we said very small piece – and that is what she took them.

  7. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    I love ripe blueberries and when my boys were little we used to go picking every year. But they never lasted long in our house so never got frozen. And the frozen kind really work best baked, IMO, which is something I would now avoid. My mind is indeed going to blueberry coffee cake and muffins right now!

  8. Michelle @ Eatingjourney says:

    I miss blueberries so much. They are honestly 9.00 for 1/2 a cup here in Oz. Gah. Not only did people eat smaller portions..they eat REAL food. full fat everything, flour, butter, grease..and weren’t fat. They were, also a lot more active. I think it’s a combination of many things

  9. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman says:

    So true! Food wasn’t as easy to come by back in the day so people didn’t want to eat all of a treat in one sitting. Why plow through a cake in one night when you can eat smaller portions and have it for two or three?

  10. Diane says:

    With portion sizes and the old days, it really depends on the family, the culture and so many other factors. Big families cooked in vats, there were no snacks and dessert was almost unheard of ( as well as snacking) , so you were encouraged to eat large at mealtimes. Desserts were not a part of most European Immigrant cultures unless it was a holiday or a birthday, and even this depends on the region . Most portion sizes today are set by cost factors- if you are doing it for a profit you make it look as abundant as possible so the customer gets the perception of getting a great value for their dollar. Things given complementary or sold for charity wind up smaller portions, so that the patron is given a taste and e3ncouraged to buy more- plain and simple.

    You are very lucky to have blueberry u pick places down there ! Blueberries like a cooler climate and it takes hybrid strains to grow in warmer regions, and for some reason a lot of growers shy away from them. I have picked them wild in Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and they are a treat ! Here we have a lot of black raspberries and Red Mulberries , but the level of auto traffic and the exhaust makes them unsafe for human consumption. You guys go a great haul, and you are right- they freeze beautifully !! I think 4 gallons would last about 2 months in this house- we eat a ton of blueberries !!!

  11. Mbini says:

    Such a great outing Diane. My grand parents prepared their own food from the seed to the table. That involved a lot of exercise.

  12. Alissa says:

    Those blueberries look wonderful. I’ve been wanting to pick berries somewhere but haven’t found a place yet. Good point in the serving sizes!

  13. Lisa says:

    Stories of blueberry picking always remind me of my grandfather who took me out picking one summer when I was about 6yo. I haven’t picked fruit in years but I’m always jealous of people who do get to go!

    I didn’t grow up with a dessert culture (once in a blue-moon would we have dessert with meals) and I’m sure that’s because of how my grandparents raised my parents. Portions were smaller but there was never (as far as I can remember) a limit as to how many helpings you could have.

    One thing that struck me in your post – when you commented you had the cake because you didn’t want to be rude. I thought that was interesting, but something that people have to deal with a lot. I guess it’s sort of like a white lie – sometimes you don’t want to do it but if it helps avoid making the other person feel bad…

  14. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    What a wonderful family outing & cute pics!!!!! I love blueberries too! YUM!

    I just read an article that traced back portion sizes & told how many more caloreis per item we are eating today vs. way back when! YIKES!

    Well, my family, we ate big portions & I guess that is why we were all over weight.. ahead of our times! :-O Cutting the cake into to few pieces and/or just eating too many!

  15. Desert Agave says:

    Those blueberries look lovely! I think it is true that my grandparents were used to smaller portion sizes. Even the plates I inherited from my grandmother are smaller than the plates you can get today.

  16. Emergefit says:

    My favorite relative story is a day I remember back in 1967. My mother purchased a 32 oz. bottle of 7-Up — sold in glass bottles back then. I remember her telling my brother and I that we had to make that bottle least the entire week. Today, a small Big Gulp is 32 oz., and the large is 64. Yes, I think every day about how my parents, and grandparents ate. I wish more people did.

  17. 'Drea says:

    In thinking about my grandparents, I realize that none of them were really consumers of fast food. Plus, my grandfather had a garden where greens and watermelon etc. grew.

    They also had to walk to school etc. and, in general, used cars less…

  18. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    My elders all ate unhealthy foods like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, southern-style veggies, etc. But they did eat smaller portions and they weren’t idle very often. Also, while their meals were what we think of as unhealthy, they rarely snacked between them. Maybe an extra glass of sweet tea on a hot afternoon, but that’s about it. I think they found balance in that somehow, because most lived (or are living) well into their 90s.

  19. Jessie says:

    I know my grandparents didn’t eat large portions. They grew up in the Depression, so they were lucky if the left the table full.

  20. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    My great grand mother ate normal portions. She would actually push away dinners we ate out when she was full instead of when the plate was done. I have learned her lesson and often order side dishes since they seem so much more reasonable.

  21. Carla says:

    My grandparents didn’t eat a lot, but they ALL smoked!

    We love going berry picking too! It’s so much fun, and half of them get eaten before we even get home. Same with apple picking!!!

  22. Sandi says:

    My mother grew up during the depression and would tell us stories about having only beans to eat. We grew up eating portions that were too large. I never thought about it until I started controlling my portions a couple of years ago. I think the large portions came from not having enough to eat when she was a child.
    I love blueberries. I eat them frozen stirred into yogurt. It’s a nice cold treat that takes a little longer to eat.

  23. Fran says:

    Boy, you sure got a lot of blueberries, jummie! I love blueberries.

    I can’t remember if my grandparents ate huge portions, we didn’t at home when I was a kid, that I do know. Years ago there wasn’t that much or no junk food at all what makes a difference too. When I was a kid my sister and I had to share a big bag of chips on Saturday night and that was it for the week. Only the big bag then was 0.2 lbs while today a big bag is 0.5 lbs. Portions in stores got bigger too.

  24. Lori (Finding Radiance) says:

    Yay for blueberries! I love, love picking (and eating) fresh blueberries.

    I actually have to say I don’t remember much of my grandparents portion sizes. My grandmother was always hopping up and down from the table, so I don’t even know if she ate.

    My father’s father ate large portions, just like my dad.

  25. Tami says:

    It looks like a fun family outing. I have never gone berry picking.

    I think the serving sizes in restaurants in the USA are super huge and out of sink with what is appropriate.

  26. Leah says:

    I have noticed this often when observing older folks and reading stories about World War II. There is a generation that wasn’t used to eating large portions because they didn’t have it to spare. They also stayed so much more active because they didn’t have the modern day conveniences we have today.

    Just a few months ago I told my husband I’d like to ask my grandmother if she thinks its the fault of the processed foods or larger portion sizes that have caused the obesity problem in our country. I’m curious what she would say.

    Very nice post. Berry picking seems so fun!

  27. Shawnee says:

    My whole family eats huge portions. LOL I’ve been freezing berries as well. I need to get back out there and get some blueberries and raspberries. I also want to get some black berries when they ripen.

  28. Marcelle says:

    Diane why are those blueberries so brown in color…is this the color or the camera….??
    Ours are nearly black here…
    I went strawberry picking with Sarah today to find out the season is over, I missed it again this year.

    • Diane says:

      They have a dusty hue to them – it’s the variety we have around here. They are purple in person. Plus – I’m not nearly as good with my camera as you are!

  29. Erica says:

    I’ve gone to Cracker Barrel and one of their antique looking signs in the dining area for soda says “two full servings in each 12 oz. can”.

    The small sized soda at McDonald’s is 16 oz, almost 3 servings by that standard. Arby’s small soda now is what I remember the largest fountain soda was as a kid. It’s not hard to figure out that the portion sizes alone are a big contribution to the obesity in this country.

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