It’s July, the month of blueberries!
This year we are still waiting for them to ripen… any day now!
When I was a girl in New Jersey, we picked them in the wild. Now my dear friend Karen shares her verdant blueberry patch with us. Ah, blueberries are so good fresh-picked that I can hardly bear thinking of making syrup, jam, or even pie (you all know how I love pie).
Immediately after picking them (without even washing… as these have not been sprayed and we pick very clean), I spread them on baking sheets to quick freeze them individually. Then I pour them into zip-locking baggies, so on a future day I can easily take exactly what I want–a couple to pop into my mouth or a couple cups to bake a pie.
We eat them while they still have icy crystals in them–drizzling them with heavy whipping cream that freezes over them like a white blanket, adding them to a bowl of cereal, or eating plain from a bowl as a Sunday side dish. And of course, we all love them in a pie–with a touch of sugar and cinnamon.
,All through our cold, rainy northwest winter, at a moment’s notice, I can pop a few berries into my mouth, and as I savor the taste of blueberry, it’s sweetness takes me back to the summer morning when I picked them–a morning filled with bird songs, lingering night coolness, the rising sun lighting the sky, and the knowledge that my heavenly Father provides in abundance.
Below is a recipe that I just ran across in Food & Wine magazine. I think I would genuinely enjoy having some homemade blueberry syrup on hand…
PERFECT BLUEBERRY SYRUP
ACTIVE: 15 MIN TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN PLUS COOLING SERVING
MAKES ABOUT 6 CUPS
MAKE-AHEAD AND STORE IN REFRIGERATOR
1 1/2 pounds blueberries (5 cups)
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
Six 1-inch strips of lemon zest removed with a vegetable peeler
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a pot, combine the blueberries with 1 cup of the water.
Crush the berries with a potato masher and bring to a simmer.
Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Strain the juice into a heatproof measuring cup, pressing hard on the solids.
Discard the solids.
Rinse out the pot.
Add the sugar, lemon zest and the remaining 3 cups of water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Boil the syrup over moderate heat until it registers 225° on a candy thermometer, about 20 minutes.
Add the blueberry juice and lemon juice and boil over high heat for 1 minute.
Let the syrup cool, then discard the lemon zest.
Pour the syrup into just-cleaned bottles.
Seal and refrigerate for up to 6 months.
Drizzle over rice pudding
Swirl into yogurt
Blend into a smoothie
Add to sparkling water
Use to glaze ribs (see Blueberry-Glazed Ribs: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/blueberry-glazed-ribs )
MORE blueberry recipes with slideshows at: http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/blueberries
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