Sadly, this week’s berry share wasn’t as bountiful as in weeks past. Add that and the fact that my husband and I helped out at the distribution on Monday and wound up eating most of our berries, what we brought home was kind of sad.
[Ed Note: We are all going to have to start a berry support group now that the blueberry season is winding down…Summer, you are a cruel mistress!]
Especially since this is what we usually bring home!
Either way, it’s been all berries, all the time in the Quesada household.
Initially, bringing home such an enormous amount of blueberries every week was kind of intimidating, but we immediately got started on freezing the little guys (well, after we both killed a good 1/2 of our first share just sitting on the couch, munching on berries). When I was little, my grandfather used to go berry picking every summer and fall. He would freeze most of them, but hated when they would come out of the freezer all stuck together (usually strawberries and raspberries). So, his engineer’s mind developed a “method”: spread the berries out on cookie sheets and freeze them BEFORE putting them in the bags. Nothing sticks together, and when you defrost the berries for cooking, they are a lot less mushy and weird. After a few weeks of freezing berries, out freezer is pretty stocked (minus the summertime frozen berry snacking).
I’ve taken to blending the frozen blueberries, along with fresh strawberries and raspberries in our blender for a very happy juice. Take about 1c blueberries, about 5 strawberries, and a handful of raspberries or blackberries (whatever we have that week). Then drizzle in some honey and add about 1/3c water (otherwise it’s less juice and more sludge).
Blend the heck out of it, and enjoy!
Since being married, I’ve taken it upon myself to learn to cook (or at least try). My mom gave me a copy of the super-groovy 1970s edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook for a wedding gift, mostly because it has all of the recipes she would make when my brother and I were kids. And who doesn’t love a good taste of nostalgia? She used to make this blueberry coffee cake that was so amazing, it wouldn’t last a day in our house. She would only make it when guests were coming over, and even then she’d designate a certain section for my brother and I, because she knew we would eat the whole thing if given the chance. So now that I have the recipe and a freezer-full of blueberries, let’s see if the recipe holds up.
- 2c all purpose flour
- 1c sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3c butter, softened
- 1c milk
- 1 egg
Heat oven to 350. Beat or stir ingredients in bowl for about 2 minutes. Spread half the batter in a greased pan (13x9x2 or 9x9x2); sprinkle 1c fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed and drained). Top with remaining batter; sprinkle 1c blueberries on top.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Drizzle warm coffee cake with a mixture of 1c powdered sugar, 1 tsp grated lemon peel and 2 tsp lemon juice (I warm it slightly by placing it on top of the stove and let the heat of the oven soften the glaze).
I was shocked at how easy this was to make. Seriously, there is no excuse not to make this. Also, it is still one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.
It’s soft and sweet and tart and, really, why are you still reading this?
Make it! Now!