Piggs and blueberry leaves

29 Aug

I replaced my rollerski spikes (rulleskipigg) and somehow failed to put the new ones on right. Every pole plant felt hollow and weak and I was getting terrible grip. Then, Saturday, I slipped and fell in the rain on an oil slick and broke one of them.

That turned out to be a fortunate fall. Earlier in the week, times on my Gamle Maridalsveien route had been getting frustratingly progressively slower. I couldn’t figure out why.

My post fall broken pigg revealed the reason. The rollerskipiggs were the wrong size and could not be pressed down fully onto the pole. Without the backbone of the shaft all the way through them they bent with every pole plant, sapping my force. It was no wonder one finally broke after undergoing such stress.

And miraculously today, even in rain, I was back up to last week’s speed without excessive effort once I had replaced my piggs with properly sized ones.

My slow going had been discouraging me. It’s a shame that something so small could get me down. But after a fast tour in mixed pouring rain and sunshine I was back feeling upbeat and could enjoy the rest of my day today.

I spent the latter part of the afternoon picking blueberries. I’m running out of freezer space for them. Wild blueberries are far better than cultivated ones. Unlike the latter which have white meat, wild ones are deep blue through and through. And they’re loads more flavorful.

Last time I brought in my pickings and washed them I noticed that the wet blueberry leaves collecting in my sink strainer smelled like tea. And after a quick Internet search I learned that they could definitely be used that way.

Here’s some instructions on harvesting blueberry leaves for tea. I made a cup today out of the ones I picked out of today’s berry haul. It was lovely, particularly considering I was rain-soaked to the bone. Tasted very close to green tea. And was probably even healthier.

The weather forecast is finally predicting a long stretch of dry weather. I’ll go pick some leaves after a hopefully fast-paced ski tomorrow.

Update: Norwegian blueberries, blåbær, are technically bilberries. They have basically the same qualities as blueberries in leaf and fruit. Here’s a medical article about Bilberry leaf tea. Here’s another one that urges caution because of the high tannin content.

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