Locally grown blueberries will be ready to pick very soon!
I have wonderful memories of picking blueberries with my family, although at the time, being young, I didn’t think it was so great.
My father, uncle, grandfather, and whatever kids they could cajole into it, would spend the whole day, from morning to night on a hill in Fitchburg picking sweet, wild blueberries. It was hard work, but we knew the end result would be blueberry shortcake with vanilla ice cream, our favorite.
One particular time, the blueberry bushes on the hill were full, and my father just couldn’t leave them berries there. They picked and picked till it got too dark to see. I didn’t go to pick that day, but when they returned home, it was my mother and I had who had to pick them over, and get them into freezer boxes (if not done quickly they turn to mush in the pails).
It took hours, but, as a family, we had picked and frozen 42 quarts of blueberries. We had more than enough for blueberry pies, muffins, and shortcake for the whole year ahead . With 11 people to feed on a daily basis, this was a good thing.
It’s hard to find blueberry bushes now. But there are farms in the area that grow them and let you come and pick your own. It’s a fun outing with your children or grandchildren, and continued fun when you come home and make something delicious to eat; it’s quite rewarding to see what you have accomplished.
There’s nothing like blueberry pancakes to start your day, whether you are at home or camping out.
Tip: If you want to freeze blueberries, just pick them over, taking off the stems and removing any mushy 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, pre-measured for a recipe.
This recipe makes about eight pancakes, depending upon size.
cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus
teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (2 percent or whole)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh blueberries (if using frozen, let them thaw out a little)
Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Add egg, milk, and oil and stir until blended (do not beat or over mix).
Gently stir in blueberries.
Heat griddle to medium-high heat, lightly oil griddle.
Drop batter onto hot griddle about
1/4 to 1/3
cup at a time. Cook until bubbles form on top, than turn over.
Cook until lightly browned. Serve with butter and maple syrup, or butter and cinnamon/sugar.
Patricia Altomare invites feedback. Email her at email@example.com, or write care of Gloucester Daily Times, 36 Whittemore St., Gloucester, MA 01930.
Good To Hear From You
Dear Pat,I am co-hosting a bridal shower in late August. I have been thinking of serving a punch rather than sangria, which I usually serve. Do you have any good punch recipes that you would recommend?
Thank you, Sheila C.,
I have two punch recipes that I know would be good, especially in the hot month of August. The first is a lime sherbet punch which my sister first served at a family function years ago. It was very popular and so refreshing.
The second is a strawberry-Mmint punch which is delicious with fresh strawberries and fresh mint. I have sent you the recipes for both.
Hi Pat,I would like to do something different with leftover turkey meat and chicken. Right now I have some leftover skinless turkey thigh meat, and thought you might have a recipe you can suggest. I love your recipes and your column.
Thank you in advance.
Beverly, Hampstead, N.H.
Dear Beverly,I have a “go to” salad that I make a few times every summer, actually year-round. I like dark meat, so I cook chicken thighs a lot, and occasionally turkey thighs (my sister’s favorite).
Mix cooled chunks of cooked meat with fresh spinach leaves or romaine lettuce, sliced fresh strawberries, peeled and sliced kiwis, and a handful of cashews.
I like this with a honey-mustard dressing, or a sesame dressing; both can be found in the stores.
(Re: the spinach; I prefer regular fresh spinach as it has more flavor than baby spinach, all a personal choice.)
Hope this helps, and thank you for your comments.
Hi Pat,My kids and I really enjoyed the Root-Beer Floats. I haven’t seen them around since I was a kid. It was a hot day so I went to the store to get the vanilla ice cream and the root beer. I didn’t bake cookies (too hot) but bought some.
We had the best time, made a huge mess, and loved them!
I haven’t written you before, but I had to let you know.
Thanks a lot, Dawn, Chelsea and Jason
For me, root-beer floats are a real old-fashioned soda fountain treat that should come back every summer. Thank you so much for letting me know, Dawn.