There are certain summer activities that I have to do at least once every year. All cost less than ten bucks total, and most involve food, preferably grown and/or gathered by my ownself. I finally got around to picking blueberries one day last week.
Abby and Sam were otherwise occupied (at a friend’s house and at camp, respectively) so I dragged Hannah along with me, despite her hesitancy due to a newfound, somewhat extreme fear of bees. She was stung on the bottom of her cute little foot at camp a few weeks ago, and while she didn’t seem too upset by it at the time, she has since stopped breathlessly in her tracks and uttered the phrase, “Mom, is there is bee on me?” approximately 487 times while outside engaged in summertime activities. I knew chances were good that she’d get through our picking expedition unstung, so I figured some desensitization training was in order.
Of course there was always the possibility that a bee would appear and instantly ruin her day, as she feared, in which case she would almost certainly log the rest of the summer quivering and muttering obscenities while cowering under her bed, but I decided to gamble.
We stopped at the farmstand to pick up our buckets, and walked the 200 yards through the woods toward the open field filled with juicy blueberry goodness; rows and rows of thick bushes teeming with impossibly large, ripe fruit.
Have I mentioned that I luuuuuuurrrrrve blueberries?
Perhaps I should point out that I am usually more of a chocolate kinda girl when it comes to dessert. I love fruit, but as a rule, I like it plain, in its raw, unsweetened form. However, I have a blueberry pie recipe that even my kids love. It uses a mixture of cooked and raw berries; I think it’s the texture contrast that gets me. It’s not exactly pretty on the plate, forming more of a deep blue, drippy mess than an actual “piece” when doled out. But ohhhh…. it’s good. I tweak the recipe a little every time I make it, but this version reflects my most recent attempt.
FRESH SUMMER BLUEBERRY PIE
1 baked 9″ pie crust
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup water
1/2 – 3/4 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 – 2 TBLS cornstarch
Approximately 1 1/2 TBLS fresh lemon juice, plus the zest from one lemon
1 tsp butter
Whipped cream and/or ice cream
1 and 2) Place 2 cups of raw blueberries in baked and cooled pie crust.
3) In a medium saucepan, combine remaining berries, water, sugar, salt and maybe a tablespoon of cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened — approximately 10 minutes. Add more cornstarch if the sauce seems too runny.
4) Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, zest, and butter. Cool slightly.
5) Pour cooked berries over raw berries. Chill.
6) Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
7) Chow down and try not to upset your dining companions with your tears of joy.
8) Find a spot to lie down and surrender to the sugar coma.
Oh, and no, Hannah didn’t get stung. She whined a lot, and wanted to leave almost before we started, but she dealt with her discontent by eating three out every four blueberries she picked, while I got enough for pie plus several days of snacking.
She is still muttering obscenities. But at least she’s not under her bed.