Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Season Of The Blues

Another “The World is Ending” post?

Nah! Nope! Not here, not anymore (hopefully).

Here, it's blueberry season! That time of year that the whole town and township are all about everything blueberry. They have made the humble blueberry into a center of commercial and financial deification. Seriously, they have a blueberry festival, and blueberry parade, a blueberry king and queen, blueberry pancakes, muffins, and probably a dozen other blue things you and I have never even thought of.

It's a little town, about 1000 souls plus another 2000 in the township, so who can blame them for latching on to the blueberry as their savior from the fires of anonymity! I suppose the orchard about a mile outside of the city had a lot to do with this event season. The orchard is a rather smallish operation that has apples, peaches, strawberries, and of course, the venerable blueberry.
They are pretty decent folks, the orchard owners. I've traded some useless (to me) stuff I had laying around the house for 10 lbs of blueberries a few years ago, and have been a steady customer ever since.

The wonders of small town life!

Anyway... I'm going to give you a little blueberry history, just for giggles.

Blueberries, also known as bilberries, whortleberries and hurtleberries, are named for their velvety, deep-blue color, of course. These luscious berries are one of the few fruits native to North America. Native Americans used the berries, leaves, and roots for medicinal purposes. The fruit was used as a fabric dye and combined with meat into a nutritious dried jerky.
The shrub is of the genus Vaccinium, from the Latin vacca for cow since cows love them, a fact first noted by Captain James Cook in the late 1700s.
Blueberries used to be picked by hand until the invention of the blueberry rake by Abijah Tabbutt of Maine in 1822, so it's no wonder that Maine's state berry is the blueberry.
The most popular variety of blueberry is Vaccinium corymbosum, known as the "highbush" blueberry. The wild "lowbush" varieties are a favorite of those who like to pick their own in the wilds.

And... there you have it!

So, now that I've told you everything about blueberries that you never wanted to know, I'll quickly segue into my new hobby of baking! Which is why I've just told you the saga of the blueberry centric area in which I live.

As of late, I've been baking all kinds of breads, cakes and pastries made with...... of course, blueberries! It really is the most excellent way to enjoy the summer months of harvest and stay out of hot sun! I'm really enjoying the new hobby as it seems to be a combination of chemistry and art, along with some really random exercises that combine to make some really tasty comestibles.
I can kill half a day just like that in the kitchen..... no worrying about politics, or world hunger, or killer earthquakes or asteroids or whatever the latest lone wolf killer has been up to! It really is a special world I create when I'm baking the days away.

Today, I will leave you with a couple of recipes for blueberry heaven that I have baked in the last couple of weeks. Enjoy, if you dare!

Blueberry Buttermilk Coffeecake 


Blueberry Hand Pies



Anonymous said...

Lets liven it up a bit

Anonymous said...

Hello there Dub,

Some good ol' blues in the vid's you posted! I'm not quite sure about the indian blues now....


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