Blueberry Adventure Part 2

Dear Liza,

We ate a delicious lunch at Topaz Farm. This property used to be Kruger’s, but was sold last year to a lady named Peggy, who happens to be a friend of Auntie Katie’s.

We ate cheeseburgers and visited with the chickens, and then Auntie Bridgett drove us home on a long winding path through lots of cool neighborhoods of north Portland.

Once we had rested, Auntie Bridgett and I got down to the business of saving all those blueberries!

We developed a good system last year, and improved on it this year. With her sharp eyesight, Bridgett is in charge of washing the fruit and picking out the under-ripe ones. It took several batches in the sink to get them all done.

As she rinsed the berries and put them in a colander to drain, I collected them. They rested on a towel-covered baking sheet for a minute to get the extra water off. (If you do this, make sure to use a towel you don’t care about, because it will get stained.)


When the berries were dry enough, I used a big cup to help hold the freezer bags open and put the berries in by handfuls until the bags were a little more than half full, and carefully sealed them up airtight.

I laid them in the freezer in a single layer, and once they are frozen solid, I will stack them like beautiful blue bricks! Yum!

But of course, we didn’t freeze ALL of them. We nibbled quite a few as we went, and I baked a cobbler from a recipe I found last year on the ‘net. I don’t know what it is called, because when I copied into my cookbook I called it “Better Blueberry Cobbler” to differentiate it from “Martha Stewart’s Blueberry Cobbler.”

Whatever it is called, it is delicious! Here is the recipe if you feel like cooking.

Better Blueberry Cobbler

The recipe calls for an 8 by 8 baking pan, but I use a 7 by 9 because that’s what I have. You will mix the topping in two different bowls.

In the pan, put 3 cups blueberries, 1/4 cup orange juice, and 3 tablespoons of sugar.

In a small bowl, mix 2/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup oatmeal, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

In a bigger bowl, soften 1 cup of butter and beat in 1/2 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until it is all light and fluffy. Then blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture and plop it all on top of the berries. Smooth the topping out with damp fingers to avoid doughy parts.

Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes, let cool a bit before serving. Great with any kind of cream!

Not all adventures end so deliciously!

Love,

Grandma Judy

All Those Blueberries

Dear Liza,

We finally got home with our groceries and all those blueberries, and man, was I tired! We put out feet up, had dinner, and finally had the energy to deal with our fruity bounty.

Auntie Bridgett has sharp eyes!

First, they needed to be washed. These wonderful berries from Columbia Farms are organic, but bird poop and tractor dust are not welcome in my kitchen. We dumped them in the sink, swished them around, and scooped them into our biggest bowl.

Ready to get frozen and bagged!

Since most of these berries are going to spend the next six months or so in our freezer, they needed to be dried and then frozen individually before being bagged and stacked.
This process happened in several stages, since our freezer is small.

Meanwhile, I found a new recipe for blueberry cobbler. The one I used last year, from Martha Stewart, was too sweet for our tastes. This one, from the All Recipes website, had less sugar.

All Recipes Blueberry Cobbler before being devoured

Recipe:

Combine 3 cups berries, 3 T white sugar and 1/2 c orange juice in an 8×8 pan. Set aside.

In a small bowl, blend 2/3 c flour, 1/4 t baking soda and a pinch of salt.

In a medium bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter 1/2 c sugar, 1 egg, and one t. Vanilla until light and fluffy. Just bring together with flour mixture. Spread topping evenly over berries. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

I added 1/2 oatmeal to the topping for more crunch.

Once the cobbler was cool enough to eat, we piled some in bowls and slurped it up. It was so good! And, of course, we had some for snack the next day. And the next. It was even better after a rest in the fridge.

I plan to enjoy these berries for months to come, and maybe even make a nice blueberry cobbler for Christmas!

Love,

Grandma Judy