Sunday, August 29, 2010

Feeling Blue?

Blueberry, that is?

It's blueberry season in Michigan and I love it!  As a child I never cared for blueberries.  I refused to eat them - whether plain, in muffins or mushed up in yogurt.  I hated them - with a capitol H.  My Gram used to say that I was her favorite blueberry picker, because my bucket was always full - I never ate any while picking!  In the years since, I have grown to tolerate them.  I still won't eat them plain or just mushed and mixed with yogurt or cottage cheese.  But I will eat them cooked in breads or pancakes.  And I love them in my breakfast smoothies!

My family has had a tradition from, well, forever, that every August, usually the first weekend, we all meet at Gram and Gramp's house and go blueberrying.  My aunt, uncle and cousin come.  Gram and Gramps used to come before it got to be too much for them.  My mom and sister always come up.  It's a fun time.  We have a favorite farm that we go to and the berries there have always been fantastic!

This year the calendar was not our friend.  We just couldn't find a time to meet up with everyone and hit the farm.  I was sad.  My own family usually picks around 30-40 pounds of berries and my mom and aunt pick around the same for their family.  I was worried about not having any berries for the freezer this year.

Then I discovered a secret, hidden treasure, just up the road from our own little farm - a BLUEBERRY patch!!!  Now, it isn't the best patch I've ever been to (you should see the patch at Soldini Blueberries - that's our favorite little patch!), but it isn't too bad either.  The bushes are huge and the berries small - but still tasty!  So I've gone a few times and picked.  It's late to be picking here, but these bushes are sill loaded up with berries.  I took the kids once and will probably go at least once more this month.

So now I've got berries to freeze.  Yay!!!  And berries to use in my favorite blueberry recipes.  Here's a couple to share....try them out and enjoy!!!

Lemon Blueberry Shortbread
2 C white or white whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp salt (I just pinch it in)
1/2 C dark brown sugar
1/2 TBS grated lemon peel (I use fresh and guesstimate the measurement)
3/4 C dried blueberries (I use fresh or frozen)
1 C butter (only butter - no substitutes)

Heat oven to 350.

Mix flour, salt, sugar, lemon peel and blueberries.

Cut in butter and mix till crumbly.  Continue mixing until a smooth dough forms.

Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out cold dough between two sheets of wax paper to about 1/2" thickness.  Cut out with cookie cutters or score and cut into squares.

Place 1" apart on cookie sheet and bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.


Blueberry Whipped Cream - yummy on cakeor with fresh fruit
2 C whipping cream (not coolwhip)
1/4 C granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C mushed blueberries

Mix together all ingredients in a deep bowl (it splatters).

Whip with a mixer 8-10 minutes or until a nice whipped cream texture.  Chill.



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