Friday, July 15, 2011

Blueberry Pie: A Summertime Ritual

Written by Heather

It's funny how a day can work itself out sometimes. 

The plans were to go blueberry picking. It felt early, given the season's running late this year, but we were heading right past our u-pick farm on the way to a canoe ride on the lake. So, stopping for a few pounds was the plan. (It always seems to take a few outings to feel stocked up on blueberries.)

Feeling low on groceries, and not wanting to use precious time on this day for grocery shopping - I declared (in a brilliant mothering moment) take-out grinders from the Hampton General Store, tossed into our cooler with some lemonade as the perfect solution to the lunchtime part of our outing.

The blueberry farm that we go to is a pretty laid back place. Usually, you don't even see the woman that owns it. The field is somewhat wild, not the easiest picking, but being near impossible around here to find no-spray fruit... locals flock to this self-serve (leave your money in the bucket) safe to eat from, very inexpensive, no-spray berry patch.

We arrived, enjoyed really good sandwiches made by someone else (don't all chief household cooks love a day off sometimes?), hung out, remarked on the perfect weather, commented on how relaxed we all felt... and noted that we indeed rushed things a little. The blueberries were not quite ripe. A few more days of heat and sun and the picking should be much improved. Thankfully, warm and sunny was the exact forecast for the days to come.

We meandered on, headed for the lake, taking in the quaint sites along the way.

Our first ride in the canoe was spectacular, a good time indeed (so says the peanut gallery). I think Adam will be sharing the details of our maiden voyage next week.

Before I leave you today, I wanted to share a favorite blueberry pie recipe (I went back and did a little blueberry picking later in the week). Each year I make this pie, sometimes several of them. It's always a crowd pleaser.

Blueberry Glace Pie
  • 5 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbls. cornstarch
  • 1 9 inch graham cracker pie shell, I use the recipe from Silver Palate, it's perfect.
Simmer 1 cup berries with orange juice and sugar for about 4 minutes, berries will burst. Mix water in a bowl with cornstarch to dissolve. Add dissolved cornstarch, simmer a few minutes longer until thickened. Press mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl, add remaining berries and mix gently. Pour into pie shell, chill for at least 4 hours. Top with whipped cream. 

I've come to realize over the last few months just how much our once a week 'pause button' nurtures us. It's easy to think about the obvious nutrients that impact our wellness, but what about Vitamin US

On days like this I think it just might be the most important nutrient of all.

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