Monday, June 09, 2014

Can You Have Too Many Blueberries?

No, of course you can't have too many blueberries.

Some might call it a personality flaw, but I've always considered it one of my strengths that I just don't give a toss what strangers think of me. If I look a little strange, or drive a car just barely held together by a combination of mud and rust it is because I want to. Sometimes though, I'm conscious of behavior that looks strange, even if there's a perfectly good reason for it. Such was the situation when I bought what turned out to be eight quarts of blueberries. That will get you strange looks.

There's a perfectly good reason for doing so-canning and dehydrating. But to the casual observer, the strange woman in the hat and gloves buying massive quantities of berries must have looked odd. Now I'm faced with working my way through them this week, but I do think it was good to stock up while they were on sale, and somewhat local (within the country anyway).

Here's the plan:

2 pies, one unbaked for the freezer.
1 batch blueberry/peach preserves
1 batch blueberry/lime jam
2 dozen blueberry muffins individually wrapped for the freezer (quick breakfasts)
Dried blueberries
Blueberry/basil vinegar
Frozen berries in 1 cup measures for pancakes through the year
1 batch blueberry syrup

Possible extras:

Blueberry/mint jelly
Blueberry sorbet
Blueberry fruit leather
Bottled blueberry juice
Blueberry cordial

Here's where I pass a bit of blueberry wisdom along from my many years of baking/preserving:
You cannot have too many blueberries. You'll think you over-bought, but once you get to work, you'll find yourself wishing you'd bought more when they were on sale. Dried blueberries in a coconut cake can make the worst of February bearable. Being able to bring a jar of unusual preserves as a hostess gift can save time, and will be appreciated. Being able to produce a pie, ready for baking from the freezer six months from now will make you glad you bothered in June. You grandmother was right-a bit of planning pays off.

I may look quite out of my mind with all those berries on the conveyer belt, but you already know what I think of that. Besides, the teenager at the till won't be eating blueberry pie in December, so who cares what she thinks?

Just wear old clothes when you make the jam-that shit splatters and stains.

Here's some of my favourite blueberry recipes from over the years:

Blueberry Gingerbread

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Cheese Coffeecake

Blueberry Rhubarb Pie

Blueberry Cottage Cheese Cake

Blueberry Freezer Jam

Blueberry/Orange Ice Milk with Rosewater Cookies

Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Clafouti

Blueberry/Pear Chutney

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry/Lemon Bagels

Blueberry Buckle Ice Cream

Blueberry Kugel (Noodle and cheese pudding)

(Almost) Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins


Sue said...

Oh how I love Blueberries, and no you can never have too many of the suckers. My arty farty friend Dawn has wild blueberries that grow on her brother in laws farm across the road from her house. We spend hours picking and eating them and solving all the problems of the world at the same time!!
PS: My parcel of goodies arrived and I was like a kid in a toy shop. Cow Tales rule!!

pastcaring said...

Of course it makes sense to stock up! And of course it doesn't matter in the slightest what anyone else thinks. Mmm, blueberries... xxxx

Goody said...

I tried to find the sweets with the strangest names. Glad you liked them.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Yummy! Please share your blueberry lime jam and the Blueberry Basil vinegar.

Goody said...


Blueberry/Basil Vinegar (from the Ball Blue Book)
4 cups blueberries
4 cups white wine vinegar
1 cup basil loosely packed
zest of 1 lemon

wash berries and drain. Combine berries and 1 cup of the vinegar in a glass bowl. Lightly crush. Add remaining vinegar. Crush basil and add with zest. Cover bowl with wax paper and secure. Let steep in a cool, dark place (the cellar is good for this)for 4 weeks, stirring every 2-3 days. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth. Heat vinegar to 180 degrees F. Ladle hot vinegar into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps, and process 10 minutes in a water canner. You can add 1/4 cup fresh berries to the jars before canning if you like. Makes about 2 pints.

Blueberry/Lime Jam
4 1/2 cups blueberries
6 tablespoons dry pectin
5 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
1/3 cup lime juice

Crush berries one layer at a time. Combine crushed berries and pectin in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar stirring until dissolved. Stir in peel and juice. Return to a hard rolling boil. Boil hard (a boil you can't stir down) for 1 minute, stirring without a stop. Remove from heat, skim foam. Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps and process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner. Makes 6 half pints.

Northern mum down South said...

I was going to ask about the blueberry vinegar recipe too, thanks Sandy.

Sounds like a grand plan you have there for those blueberries and all sound yummy.

Autumn said...

My youngest child is allergic to blueberries and always claims I'm trying to kill her when I bring them home. Thank the gods she's moving out in a month. More blueberries!!

Goody said...


I'm sorry, my brain just went to the Monty Python skit about self-defense against fresh fruit.

But yeah, food allergies have taken over our house too.

Rebecca Harasym said...

I agree who cares what others think! :) I really need to make something with blueberries with all this inspiration! Thanks so much for the recipes and good luck with making everything!