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August 7, 2013

Blueberries? Buckle, cream pie, freezing tips

Editor's note: The orginal version of the blueberry buckle recipe omitted the milk from the ingredients list. It has been corrected.

 

I have wonderful memories of picking blueberries with my family — although at the time, I didn’t think it was so great, it was a lot of work.

My father and grandfather would gather as many of the older children as they could cajole and pack them up for a day trip from Southborough to visit an uncle who lived in Fitchburg, where we all would spend the day high on a hill, picking sweet, wild blueberries. It was hard work on any given day, but one particular time my family picked and picked until it was too dark to see. This hill was prolific with blueberry bushes. I didn’t pick that day, but when the family returned home, my mother and I needed to pick the berries over right away; if left overnight, they would be mushy by morning, and none could be wasted after the hours put into picking them. It took more hours, but as a family, we had picked, and picked over, and packed into freezer boxes 32 quarts of blueberries! We had more than enough berries for the year ahead for blueberry pies, muffins, and shortcake. With a large family to feed, this was a good thing.

It’s hard to find blueberry bushes now; but there are farms where you can go and pick your own.

Tip: If you want to freeze fresh blueberries, pick them over, taking off the stems and removing any mushy ones, or ones not quite ripe, and place in a plastic bag. Do not wash first. Blueberries freeze better when they are as dry as possible. I put them in small zipped bags, a few bags with 1 cup, and a few bags with 2 cups, measured out for a recipe of your choice.

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