Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weekend Cooking: Blueberry Picking

Weekend Cooking is hosted each week by Beth Fish Reads.  It is a fun meme that provides great new recipes, cookbooks, and other foodie finds.  Follow the link to discover the new posts for this week.

My sincere condolences to all of you who live on the East Coast.  It seems that you have been on the receiving end of our typical Kansas summers this week:  triple digit heat compounded by high humidity.  I wish I could say that I miss this weather (I do not), but I do realize that what goes around, comes around, and we will soon be in familiar weather patterns again.

In the meantime, Kansas and Missouri and nearly floating away, and this week's temperature in the 80s coupled with low humidity has been a nice change of pace.  Not to fear, however, as temps are to crawl back up into the 90s by Monday and I expect the humidity and heat index to follow suit.

 Having said all that - I must say that berry picking this week was a real treat - in more ways than one.  It had probably been nearly a decade since our family picked berries.  It used to be an annual event, but then kids grow up, they get busy, and such old-fashioned activities tend to take a backseat for awhile.  On Thursday, however, my eldest daughter and I went to our "old stomping ground" the Berry Patch in Cleveland, MO.  It was an overcast day, around 72 degrees, and with a constant cool breeze.  I have picked berries with sweat dripping off my nose, so I was more than happy to have this unique experience!

We didn't stay out long - and we didn't pick all that many berries (only about 5 pounds between us), but we had a great time!  It allowed me to once more pretend that I was farm girl - if only for an hour or so.  I must confess, however, that between my strawberry picking excursion and this one, I have had enough "living off the land" experiences to last me the rest of the year.  I am most definitely a suburban girl at the core!

While I absolutely love strawberry freezer jam, I do find blueberries to be more versatile than any other "pick your own" fruit.  They are bite-sized (no hulling or peeling or chopping necessary); you can easily pre-measure just picked berries into plastic baggies, put them directly into the freezer, and have them ready at your beck and call anytime the occasion arises.  It is THAT simple!  They keep throughout the winter and provide a sunshine surprise to any muffin or pancake on a snowy morning.

The Berry Patch is a family operation and each year they publish a newsletter with favorite recipes.  I have not tried many of them, but my favorite (and the easiest of all to prepare) is blueberry sauce that is delicious served over ice cream or cheescake.  The exact recipe cannot be found, it is essentially 2 cups of blueberries, sugar to taste (about 1/2 cup), a little bit of lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon), and some cornstarch for thickening (about 1-2 teaspoons).  Bring all ingredients to a boil; cool slightly; and serve.

But the recipe that I will choose to share today I adapted from my mom's 1960s recipe for peach cobbler (made from canned peaches of all things!)  This is NOT low cal or low fat or all natural, but it sure is good (especially served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream)

Blueberry Cobbler (adaptation)

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups blueberries (depending on how many you have on hand, and how much you enjoy the berry flavor and consistency)
  • 1 box Jiffy White Cake Mix (although probably any cake mix will do - it is just this package is smaller and I think works best)
  • 1 stick melted butter
Directions:
  1. Spray an 8x8 pan with Pan
  2. Pour blueberries into prepared dish
  3. Sprinkle white cake mix evenly over the top of the berries
  4. Drizzle melted butter evenly over the cake mix
  5. Bake at 350 for approximately 20-25 minutes (until bubbly)
That's it!  Easy - delicious - and with blueberries in your freezer, available to make any time of year.

16 comments:

Amy DeTrempe said...

I know exactly what you mean about the wheather. We have been enjoying the same, unusual temps and humidity in Illinois. But, it will be short lived. We never had blueberries but a ton of raspberries. I'm going to have to go find some blueberries now.

bermudaonion said...

I love to pick berries and put them right in my mouth!

Kaye said...

Molly, at least it wasn't too hot while you were picking the berries. It's actually been cooler here this week in FL than it was further up the eastern seaboard. Definitely welcomed as far as I'm concerned.

Your blueberry sauce and cobbler sound great. Enjoy the berries and have a great weekend!

Mrs. DeRaps said...

Yum. Our blueberries are nowhere near ripeness yet, but our raspberries are in! Thanks for the hot, humid weather. We're going to send it right back! (I think that the humidity did help my tomatoes, though, as they doubled in size this week!)

Thanks for the recipe...I'll come back to it when my blueberries ripen.

Lisa said...

Molly, I really enjoyed this post! I've eaten more blueberries this summer than I normally do and I think they always taste better when you've picked them yourself. And because they're loaded with antioxidants, they are great for my eye problem! I'm so glad you and your daughter had such a nice time together just pickin' berries! I think more people should slow down and enjoy the little things. Your cobbler recipe sounds wonderful and I plan to try it very soon! I also enjoyed hearing about the blueberry farm you visited. Have a great weekend!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Funny that you mention this, because we are planning on picking blueberries on MOnday here in Indiana. We are deviously rubbing our hands together, planning all the decadent things we are going to make with them! I was sitting here reading your ideas to my mom. Cobbler is definitely on the menu!

Beth F said...

I love fresh blueberries and they are now available at the farmers market. We've been eating them straight out of the bowl on cereal and ice cream. I can't seem to keep them around long enough to make jam or bake. I'll have to buy a ton of them on Tuesday before they disappear for another year.

JoAnn said...

I'm glad you've escaped this recent heat wave - thankfully, it's much cooler this morning. Making blueberry scones is on my agenda today.

Wendy said...

We're also getting the heat in California (109 yesterday), but at least we don't experience the humidity here!

I LOVE blueberries - thanks for this great post...it made my mouth water :)

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

My favorite uses for blueberries is pancakes and in muffins. I also like how easy they are to pick, package and freeze. Your cobbler recipe sure sounds easy.

Miri said...

This cobbler sounds delicious! What is more fun than berry picking!

Kim said...

I have such fond memories of taking my boys blueberry picking when they were younger and I too loved knowing that I had a freezer well stocked with those little frozen gems come winter! Our local blueberries are not quite ready to pick yet though.
Your recipe looks oh-so-yummy as only non low-fat,low calorie, not healthy recipes can! I think I might try it this week...
Enjoy your weather--we have been sweltering in the 90's all week here in Washington but will back down to the glorious 70's by tomorrow!! Hooray for that marine air that always eventually comes to our rescue!
*smiles*

caite said...

yeah, thanks for the 100+ temps. NOT!
;-)
too hot for blueberry picking but the harvest is huge this year and very cheap so I will stick to the farm stands. We are BIG producers of blueberries here in south Jersey, huge commercial outfits.

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I am so making this recipe this week. My kids love you. ;)

Vicki said...

This sounds like a dump cake I make, but I use canned pie filling. It is yummy, so I bet your fresh version would be even better!

J. Kaye said...

I haven't been berry picking in ages! And oh how I love blueberry cobbler...actually any cobbler...lol.

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