My sincere condolences to all of you who live on the East Coast. It seems that you have been on the receiving end of our typical Kansas summers this week: triple digit heat compounded by high humidity. I wish I could say that I miss this weather (I do not), but I do realize that what goes around, comes around, and we will soon be in familiar weather patterns again.
In the meantime, Kansas and Missouri and nearly floating away, and this week’s temperature in the 80s coupled with low humidity has been a nice change of pace. Not to fear, however, as temps are to crawl back up into the 90s by Monday and I expect the humidity and heat index to follow suit.
Having said all that – I must say that berry picking this week was a real treat – in more ways than one. It had probably been nearly a decade since our family picked berries. It used to be an annual event, but then kids grow up, they get busy, and such old-fashioned activities tend to take a backseat for awhile. On Thursday, however, my eldest daughter and I went to our “old stomping ground” the Berry Patch in Cleveland, MO. It was an overcast day, around 72 degrees, and with a constant cool breeze. I have picked berries with sweat dripping off my nose, so I was more than happy to have this unique experience!
We didn’t stay out long – and we didn’t pick all that many berries (only about 5 pounds between us), but we had a great time! It allowed me to once more pretend that I was farm girl – if only for an hour or so. I must confess, however, that between my strawberry picking excursion and this one, I have had enough “living off the land” experiences to last me the rest of the year. I am most definitely a suburban girl at the core!
While I absolutely love strawberry freezer jam, I do find blueberries to be more versatile than any other “pick your own” fruit. They are bite-sized (no hulling or peeling or chopping necessary); you can easily pre-measure just picked berries into plastic baggies, put them directly into the freezer, and have them ready at your beck and call anytime the occasion arises. It is THAT simple! They keep throughout the winter and provide a sunshine surprise to any muffin or pancake on a snowy morning.
The Berry Patch is a family operation and each year they publish a newsletter with favorite recipes. I have not tried many of them, but my favorite (and the easiest of all to prepare) is blueberry sauce that is delicious served over ice cream or cheescake. The exact recipe cannot be found, it is essentially 2 cups of blueberries, sugar to taste (about 1/2 cup), a little bit of lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon), and some cornstarch for thickening (about 1-2 teaspoons). Bring all ingredients to a boil; cool slightly; and serve.
But the recipe that I will choose to share today I adapted from my mom’s 1960s recipe for peach cobbler (made from canned peaches of all things!) This is NOT low cal or low fat or all natural, but it sure is good (especially served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream)
Blueberry Cobbler (adaptation)
- 4-5 cups blueberries (depending on how many you have on hand, and how much you enjoy the berry flavor and consistency)
- 1 box Jiffy White Cake Mix (although probably any cake mix will do – it is just this package is smaller and I think works best)
- 1 stick melted butter
- Spray an 8×8 pan with Pan
- Pour blueberries into prepared dish
- Sprinkle white cake mix evenly over the top of the berries
- Drizzle melted butter evenly over the cake mix
- Bake at 350 for approximately 20-25 minutes (until bubbly)