Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's The Berries, Continued

Suddenly the days are much cooler. How did that happen? One minute we were sweltering in record heat and then the next thing I know, the nights have become wonderfully crisp. The air is dry. Plants in the garden are starting to brown. The summer daisies that lined the country roads near my home are being replaced by the more autumnal Black-eyed Susan. I can hear the occasional chain saw, the first sign that some of us are preparing for fall and winter. Families are scrambling for one more holiday before school begins. The county fair is in full swing. And I'm enjoying evening campfires in the backyard without mosquitoes!

As you may recall, I had ended June here in Northern Michigan with a bumper crop of blueberries picked and frozen. At the end of July I headed for Northern Ontario where I traveled just far enough north that I was back into prime blueberry season. Oh my, I hadn't planned on picking more blueberries. I went to fish after all. But I'm a harvester at heart. And whether it's fish or berries, when the opportunity presents itself I can't help but act. This time, I didn't freeze berries. It was nice not feeling the responsibility to “put up” my harvest but, instead, without the kitchen facilities of home, allow myself to indulge and fill my belly with berries every day. And thanks to all of your responses to my June newsletter, I had plenty of recipes to choose from.

So here's a sampling of my fish camp berry fare. I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy them as much as I have.

From Patt Osborne...
BLUEBERRY DAIQUIRI
1 cup frozen blues
1/2 cup light rum (or more…depending on the mood and circumstances
1/2 lime-juiced
1/2 cup crushed ice
1/4 cup superfine sugar
In a blender, combine all ingredients for about 30 seconds. Pour into a chilled glass.
My Comment: There was no blender at camp but I did just fine by shaking vigorously.


From Shelly K...
">BLUEBERRY BUCKLE
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 egg
3/4 c. milk
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. blueberries
Topping:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. soft butter
Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Beat together sugar and butter. When mixture becomes light, add egg and beat.
Sift together dry ingredients on a piece of waxed paper. Pour half of dry ingredients into bowl, add milk and remaining dry ingredients.
Stir together until combined, do not over mix. Sprinkle berries on top and stir in.
Sprinkle on topping and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.


From My Mom...
BLUEBERRY SLUMP
1 qt. blueberries
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
Dumplings:
1 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. milk
2 tbs. oil
In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the blueberries, water and sugar to a boil. Lightly mix together all dumpling ingredients. Drop dumpling dough by spoonfuls into the boiling berries. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over moderate heat. Serves 4.


From Denise M...
BLUEBERRY COBBLER
1 stick butter
3 to 4 c. fresh blueberries
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. self-rising flour
3/4 c. milk
1 c. sugar
Melt the butter in an 8 or 9 inch square pan. Put blueberries in pan with water and 1 cup sugar. Leave on burner. Simmer while making crust. Mix the flour, milk and 1 cup sugar together. Mix well. Pour over blueberries. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Check all along to see if juice is cooking out. If so, add a little water to keep cobbler juicy. Serve with ice cream.


From Me...
BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
1 c. blueberries
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/2 c. melted butter
1 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbs. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
Combine egg, milk and butter. Sift dry ingredients and add to egg mixture. Beat. Drop on lightly greased griddle, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons berries over each cake. Turn when bubbly and browned.
BLUEBERRY PANCAKE SYRUP:
2 cups blueberries
1 cup light corn syrup or maple syrup
dash of salt
Mash blueberries until somewhat smooth. In saucepan, combine berries, syrup and salt. Bring to boil and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring gently, or until thickened.


And finally, suggestions from Karla K., who seems to have a bit of a blueberry fetish...
"Blueberry yogurt, blueberry custard, blueberry scones, blueberry waffles, blueberry smoothies, blueberry ice cream, blueberry sauce, blueberry jam/jelly, blueberry juice, blueberry crepes, blueberry syrup, blueberry/pecan french toast, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry blintzes, blueberry tarts, blueberry & honey pecan salad, blueberry coffee cake, blueberry daiquiri, blueberry fruit ice, ... and my all time favorite, plain ol' blueberries with milk/cream and sugar (in a bowl) -- that's all from me!"


"Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup."
"I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods."
"I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief... For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."
"We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?"
~Wendell Berry