The Wonder Berry- Blueberries

Our New England ancestors were not familiar with blueberries when they first arrived, but they quickly adapted them to all their favorite fruit recipes.  Blueberries have never lost their popularity, and in fact we have now dubbed them a Super Food or Wonder Food–good for what ails you, or to prevent anything from ailing you. So credit the beautiful blueberry to keeping our ancestors hardy.

Of course, when I pour a basket of blueberries out on a cookie sheet and stick them in the freezer, and later pour the frozen berries into ziplock bags so I can bake with them all year long, I think of my English ancestor housewives who only had access to blueberries during the growing season.

Of course, like so many other things that helped them survive, those Puritan goodwife ancestors learned about blueberries and how to encourage their growth from the indigenous people who used blueberries to make a hearty trail food called pemmican.  With its mixture of bear fat, deer meat and berries, it sounds a bit like English mincemeat. The dried blueberries were used as a preservative for the meat.

Blueberries could very well have been featured at the original Thanksgiving Dinner in the form of an Indian cornmeal pudding with blueberries  called sautauthig.

When I go to the northeast, blueberries are one of the foods I look forward to finding in abundance.  In New Brunswick, Canada, my sister and I visited a roadside blueberry stand that sold all things blueberry.

Blueberry

Blueberry stand near St. John, New Brunswick, Canada

 

Blueberry grocery bag

Blueberry grocery bag

Canadians loves their blueberries, in fact we even picked up a free grocery bag to show our blueberry love.

We love them at our house, too, and I previously shared my recipe for Blueberry Buckle.

Here’s another recipe favorite.  I found this recipe for Blueberry Muffins many, many years ago, probably in a magazine or newspaper and it is superb.

 

Absolutely BEST Blueberry Muffins

Serves 12
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Egg, Wheat
Meal type Bread
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon sugar (for topping)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon lemon rind (for topping)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (well beaten)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine (melted)
  • 1 cup blueberries (rinsed and drained)

Directions

1. Mix sugar and lemon rind for topping and set aside
2. Whisk together dry ingredients.
3. Combine milk, eggs, melted shortening and add to dry ingredients. Stir in, but don't over beat.
4. Gently fold in blueberries.
5. Put batter into greased or paper-lined muffin tins. Should make 12 muffins.
6. Sprinkle the lemon sugar on top.
7. Bake at 425 degrees about 20 minutes. Top will be cracked and crinkled.

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