D.C. Pick Your Owns and Matching Recipes
I have a framed picture next to my childhood bed of me proudly holding a large crate of freshly picked blueberries, basking in the summer sun. I’m not sure exactly what I did with all of those “blubes” at the ripe age of six, but I imagine it had something to do with lots of sugary, mushy snacks. To this day, blueberries and blueberry picking are among my summer favorite; a true sign that the hot months and long nights are upon us.
This past week, like any native Philadelphian, I spent my Fourth of July on the New Jersey coast. When my mom suggested blueberry picking on one of our overcast days, I was delighted to say the least. So we went out, baskets in hand, to a nearby Jersey farm and picked our pounds and pounds of blueberries, seven and a half to be precise.
I usually get great joy in trying to figure out how to make use of a great abundance of one product, so my mind was racing on the way home, while snacking of course. Unfortunately, with so many cousins and aunts and uncles and new additions around the beach house, our blueberries went quickly, and I was only able to use them in that Pavlova that I mentioned last week (okay, I made it twice in one week). BUT, here are a few of my other blueberry staples:
- Blueberry scones: Specifically the blueberry scones from Cook’s Illustrated. I’ve mentioned a CI recipe before, and really I find their baking recipes top notch, nearly impossible to beat. I highly highly recommend this one.
- Blueberry jam: Want to really impress people? Make your own jam. It’s wildly easy and Cottage River Preserves has an incredible recipe. This is my favorite preserving cookbook. Jam on.
- Cold water (kinda boring): Cold water with mint and blueberries? Now we’re talking.
- Frozen snack: dessert, done.
- My mom’s ultimate blueberry cake: This is absolutely my favorite way to prepare blueberries. I think she took the recipe from an incredibly old Betty Crocker, but here’s what she has written down. It is incredibly easy. Enjoy, friends (and don’t tell my mom I shared this).
Blueberry Coffee Cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients and beat on medium speed until just incorporated. Do not over mix! Spread half of batter in greased pan, sprinkle with one cup blueberries, top with remaining better and sprinkle in the remaining blueberries. Bake about 40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Best served with morning coffee.
D.C. Pick Your Own Produce
Though I haven’t gone berry picking in the D.C. area yet this season, here a few places that I’ve heard good things about:
- Larriland Farm, Woodbine, Md.: Currently blueberries, red raspberries, blue raspberries, beets and flowers. Go for the fresh cut flowers.
- Butler’s Orchard, Germantown, Md.: I’ve been here for fall harvests, and it is beautiful. Currently they have blueberries and blackberries, and it looks like tomatoes are on their way.
- Homestead Farm, Poolesville, Md.: They’ve got peaches!