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Nate & Melanie's website

by Nate and Melanie — last modified Feb 24, 2013 11:45 AM

Take a trip down memory lane with content from 2006, 2007, 2008, or 2009 — or check out the latest news below.  (If you are looking for something specific, use the search box at the upper right.  It really works!)

News / Blog / Misc. Ramblings

Blueberry Picking is Delicious!

by Melanie Turner last modified Jan 05, 2011 12:34 AM
Sep 24, 2008. Lydia, Nate and I went blueberry picking in Sterling, CT.
Blueberry Picking is Delicious!

Nate has Blueberry Eyes!

At the beginning of September, Nate, Lydia, and I took a field trip to Tikkanen Berry Farm to pick Blueberries.  Lydia said it was just on the border of RI and CT.  Much to my surprise, it ended up being right in Sterling, CT of all places! Yep!  That's down the road from my sister and a few miles away from my parents and the house I grew up in.  I never knew this place existed!

Frog from Tikkanen's Farm

While Lydia and I turned ourselves into Blueberry picking machines, Nate picked some blueberries and made friends with the local wildlife.  This frog was one of many basking in the swampy puddles in the blueberry fields.  For a while, they were making quite the racket.  Nate also made friends with a ladybug larvae, and a brightly colored dragonfly too.   He's a pretty friendly guy.  Before we knew it, we had picked about 5 pounds of blueberries, and passed about 2 hours of time hanging outside in the September sunshine on a lovely Saturday afternoon.  By the time we reached our apartment in Providence, Nate had a very purple mouth. He REALLY likes to eat blueberries even if they are domesticated, high bush type blueberries.  It's probably due to his crazy, mad, Maine-style, Blueberry colored, eyes.  In case you want to check it out next year, here's the info on where to go:

Tikkanen Berry Farm - Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
218 Calvin French Road
Sterling, CT  06377
[map] [ listing]

Phone: 860-774-0177

Directions: located on Calvin French Road close to the state line in Sterling

Crop availability:

  • PYO strawberries from mid June to July
  • PYO blueberries from mid July to October
  • PYO raspberries from July to Sept.
  • PYO red & black currents from July into August


5 Pounds of Blueberries! Melanie - the slightly shorter blueberry eating monster


5 lbs of blueberries!                     Blueberry eating Melanie Monster.


Blueberry Pie from Hand Picked Blueberries


Blueberry Pie Made that Night

Celebrating 29 Years of Natiness!

by Melanie Turner last modified Jan 03, 2011 12:42 AM
Mar 03, 2008. Providence, RI — Yet another Birthday Dinner for Nate Makes the Headlines!
Celebrating 29 Years of Natiness!

Most of the motley crew

To ring in the New Year of the Nate, we held a small gathering of friends for dinner around our beautiful new table.  The table was hand crafted by the one and only William Turner, aka "Pop".  We promised him to do it justice by holding as many happy events around it as possible, and Nate's birthday seemed like a perfect event for the table's maiden voyage! 

Disclaimer: The safety conscious need not worry! Though the table hadn't been tested for parties, the imaginary seat cushions on the chairs were capable of acting as flotation devices in case of an emergency.

The celebratory gang consisted of people who Nate knew before Melanie knew them, even if it was merely a matter of days/minutes.   Danny P Martinelli, Tim and Emily Winter, Matt and Rebecca Crawford, and Steve Robbins met the party qualifications with flying colors!

The merry bunch dined on a Lemony, Greek Style Chicken Ragout from Eating Well Magazine, a warm Farro salad, a tossed salad, and Seven Stars Bread.  Dessert was the Homemade Carrot Cake traditionally served at Nate and Melanie birthdays.  (Extra nutmeg and crushed pineapple in the Melanie made version, with Cream Cheese frosting spiked with Grand Marnier.)

Blueberry Lemon ~ Lemon Blueberry Upside Down Cake

by Melanie Turner last modified Jan 02, 2011 01:03 AM
I can't decide which way I like saying it.

Mar 03, 2008.  So I was trying to come up with a fun birthday cake that didn't have dairy products in it to make for Emily's birthday. I was originally going to make the Chocolate Orange Cake on Susan V's Blog at I actually dreamed about making this cake, but then got worried that she might not be into Chocolate Cake .

I started flipping through the Joy of Cooking and found a recipe for an Ultra-Orange Cake (Vegan). I modified it slightly to be lemony and added the blueberry upside down part. Ironically, I chickened out on serving it, because I had never tasted the Lemon Blueberry before, and I made an Applesauce Gingerbread Spice Cake I knew she liked instead.

When I got home, I tried some, and found it delicious! Too bad I was such a chicken! It's a very moist cake. I think I can improve upon it, but here it is in it's current form.

Blueberry Lemon ~Lemon Blueberry Upside Down Cake

1. Mix together in a largish bowl:

1 1/2 cups all - purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2. In a separate bowl mix together the following until smooth:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup lemon juice (3-4 organic lemons)

1/3 cup canola oil

1 TBS white or cider vinegar

The zest from 2 of the above lemons

3. Toss into the flour mixture and coat with the flour:

1 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries

4. Carefully fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just mixed.

5. Pour the batter into a greased 9 inch spring form pan or cake pan

6. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

7. Slide a thin knife around the edge and release the spring form from the pan.

8. Flip onto a serving plate. You may need to use the knife to loosen up the blueberry gooeyness from the bottom of the pan.

9. If you're mad about blueberries, you can cook an additional cup of them on the stove in a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and the zest of the 3rd organic lemon until the sauce thickens to a jam like consistency. Pour over the top of the cake when cool.