Blueberries

After Amanda's recent posts about canning etc. I feel compelled to update you all on my preserving endeavors. Blueberries have been in season for 3 weeks or so here. Both last week and this week the kids & I have been picking. We go to a local berry farm that grows high bush berries. I think they're the easiest berry I've picked because you get so much fruit for relatively little effort. The berries grow high and the bushes don't have any thorns (like raspberries). The season has been terrific and should last till the end of Aug.

We've picked 15 lbs so far and will be back next week before we go on our vacation to Montreal. We've been eating lots of fresh berries, by the handfuls and on cereal etc. The rest I've frozen for muffins, pancakes etc... I love blueberry pancakes! I don't have any photos of beautiful, colored jars to show you - like Amanda's. A picture of my ziploc bags in the freezer just isn't the same smile But here are pictures of my brown berries (what I call our sun kissed children).

Blueberry boy in the blue shirt

Brienne at the berry farm

Celine picking blueberries

One thing I miss is raspberries. You can pick them here but they are expensive and I don't have anyone's patch I can pick from. So, next year I am starting my own. We'll see how long it takes before we get fruit. But I can't wait to have more fresh raspberries.

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  • Amanda

    Amanda on Aug. 12, 2005, 2:37 a.m.

    Sounds like you guys are having lots of fun in the bushes. You must feel like you have accomplished lots. 15lbs is allot of berrys to pick. I wish we where there with you picking. They are very expensive here. They are over $16.00 for an ice cream pail. Raspberry bushes grow fast. I have some and the old owners didn't plant them to long ago. I think you will feel rewarded with them. I know I do. I also think that your freezer bags are just as beautiful as any can jar.

    reply

  • melanie

    melanie on Aug. 12, 2005, 8:48 p.m.

    When you freeze the blueberries, do you wash and dry them first or do you freeze them and wash them when you take them out? I am just wondering how you dry them so that they don't freeze as one big chunk?

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    • Amanda

      Amanda on Aug. 13, 2005, 1:43 a.m.

      When I freeze my blueberries I wash them first and then I let them air dry for awhile on a towel....Sometimes you get lucky and they freeze nice and other times your not so lucky. How do the rest of you freeze them?

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    • renee

      renee on Aug. 13, 2005, 2:34 a.m.

      I wash the blueberries, trying to get as much water off as possible. Then I freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, maybe about 8 hours or overnight. When they are frozen I put them into Ziploc freezer bags. This way they don't all clump together. My mom taught me this trick, as this is how she freezes all her berries. This works especially well for raspberries, although I don't wash those.

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      • barbara

        barbara on Aug. 14, 2005, 7:41 a.m.

        I use the cookie sheet to freeze berries too. In fact you can freeze any fruit this way...strawberries, blueberries, cherries, sliced peaches, raspberries etc. I learned it from Oma. She used to sprinkle a little sugar on the fruit (you can make a mixed fruit dessert this way) as it is thawing out, and the sugar, with the juices of the fruit as it thaws, makes a very nice sweet berry sauce with fruit to put over ice cream, or a trifle dessert. This would also work with stevia if you are not into sugar and still want to sweeten things up a little. In fact, I will share a lovely little heart healthy dessert that I just discovered on the Canadian Living Internet Site that I frequently visit when I am at work. I made it when Monique and Michael and Kelly's parents came to visit last week.

                                       HEART HEALTHY TRIFLE 
        

        INGREDIENTS

        Angel Food Cake cut into cubes (day old cake works well for trifle) Frozen Light Whipped Topping Yogurt (Your choice, the recipe calls for lemon flavor but I have never come across lemon yogurt so I chose a berry flavor and used just one individual yogurt from Danone) Fresh or Frozen Fruit ***Frozen Whipped Cream (This part is my own addition to this recipe and is not exactly "heart healthy" if you are going to get "nit picky" about it!) I guess you could always make dream whip with canned condensed skim milk if you don't want to eat cream.

        DIRECTIONS

        Thaw the frozen light whipped topping (you can use as much of it as you need and put the rest in a container in the fridge and it will keep for a few days) and mix with the yogurt. In individual dessert dishes, build the dessert in the following order. Put a layer of angel food cake cubes on the bottom of each dish. Next cover the cake with a layer of the whipped topping/yogurt mix. Then top this with a layer of fresh or thawed frozen fruit (sweeten if the fruit is kinda sour) and it can be served this way or you can also top it with a dollop of whipped cream if you so wish. This dessert was a raving success (I just put the can of whipped cream on the table and let everyone put their own on their dessert) and the children loved it. (Preparation Time: (I love this part!) About 5 minutes (If you cheat like I did and buy the cake at Sobees! And if you get one of the guests to wash and cut up the fresh fruit for you ahead of time...(Thank you Joanna Bansema for doing this part!)

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