On The Table

Blueberries!

BANNER-3-FOR-OUR-BACKYARDWe picked Blueberries today! Thank goodness the Blueberry season is a long one (compared to other fruits) because we were out of town when they first came on, so we were happy to get some today. But frankly, there are so many varieties of blueberries that some farms extend their season into September, so there is no need to panic!

Sara-picking

Blueberries are a native of North America, but can grow almost anywhere in cooler climates and the Willamette Valley is a prime growing area- which we are a part of here in Clark County.Wilamette-Valley-Map

They are easy to grow, but require the right PH level and need a specific numbers of “chill hours” each year. That gets kind of complicated for me- not to mention that the two plants we have in the backyard clearly are there for the birds- robinso we try to hit one of the U Pick farms a few times each summer to get our fill.

There are a number of growers and U Pick farms in Clark County; we love Majestic Farms just north of Hockinson, they have the most beautiful berries and venue for a day’s outing (I always feel like I should bring along an al fresco picnic when we go!) We’ve picked at Gary’s Place, he’s completely organic… and today we picked at Philbrook Farms off 50th, toward Battle Ground. The atmosphere there was very kid friendly! The berry varieties are different at each place so you really just need to pick and see what flavor you like the best.

Our first choice for eating Blueberries is fresh off the bush- pile them up in a bowl and set it out for all to enjoy!CU-in-bowl

 

 

 

Plate-of-waffles

I also make a chunky sauce, trying to keep the berries as whole as possible. We use our sauce for pancakes, waffles, crepes, P B & J’s or as a topping for our favorite ice cream or cheesecake. For a special drink a Blueberry Bellini is nice!

Jar

 Blueberry Sauce

Cook, stirring regularly to keep it from burning :

Blueberries

Sugar (I usually go light on the sugar because we like the taste of the berry)

Fresh squeeze of lemon

A pinch of fresh ground nutmeg

A little pat of butter (keeps the foam down)

Pinch of salt.

Bring it all to a boil and cook it until it’s the thickness you want. Boil it gently to keep it chunky.

Janine Blackwell

Food has always been a main focus of my family life! At 12 years old I picked berries during the summer and at 15 I started work in the local cannery. This was my summer job all through college (my father was the production manager for Norpac Foods for 30 years, so I had an in!) Each summer my mom would can and preserve fruit and vegetables so we could have "good stuff" all year long. I attended a cooking school while I lived in England for about a year, but my life took a different turn and I did not go into food professionally. My sister owns a restaurant in Colorado and my brother works for a blueberry processing plant in Silverton, OR. Like I said- a family affair! I teach video and film at Columbia River HS (love it) but I also love to cook, can and preserve. I work to use as much home grown, locally produced and organic product as I possibly can.

Comments