Wild Northerner Magazine Summer 2017 - Page 69

Jeannine Larcher-Lalande is known as the Blueberry Lady. She is a former president of the Sudbury Blueberry Festival, an event celebrating its 32nd year this summer, from July 16 to 23. At age 83, Larcher-Lalande still enjoys blueberries. Her favourite thing to make and eat is blueberry cheesecake. She published a book called Sudbury's Blueberry Heritage du Bleuet Cookbook, which is a mix of recipes and history.

“Blueberries are delicious,” Larcher-Lalande said. “You can make so many things with them.”

Larcher-Lalande began picking berries with other kids in the Sudbury area in the 40s, when she was a kid. The neighbourhood kids would pile into a truck and go pick berries for the day. The berry represents a lot of meaning to Larcher-Lalande.

“It is a cultural thing,” she said. “It’s a big part of many people’s history. Sudbury is renowned for its blueberries. Ours are wild and have a great taste. Blueberries are one of the jewels of northern Ontario. Not everyone has blueberries like we do in the Sudbury area. We are fortunate.”

Lindsay is coy about his age, but reveals he has been enjoying the many ways to enjoy blueberries for more than 50 years and the love will never stop. Blueberries are popular as jams, muffins, tarts, pies, pancakes and as toppings for cereal and yogurt. There is no bad way to enjoy blueberries.

“I eat them until I turn blue,” Lindsay said. “I had blueberry pie as a kid and I’ve been hooked ever since. I go through six quart baskets in the summer. I eat them by the handful, morning, afternoon and night. I love blueberries.”

There are numerous blueberry festivals and events across northern Ontario this summer. Aside from the Greater Sudbury 32nd Blueberry Festival (http://www.blueberryfestival.ca) there are also events such as The Sioux Lookout 35th annual Blueberry Festival, August 4 to 13, (https://www.blueberrybert.com) and Esker Lakes Provincial Park also hosts a blueberry event in August (https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/eskerlakes).

Check out local towns and websites wherever you are travelling this summer to find an event near you.