While sometimes it is hard to believe that it is already September 7, part of me isn’t surprised, given we pretty much missed a month a summer this year due to June’s rainfall, where it rained 21 out of 30 days. So summer felt shorter. As we head out of summer vegetable season and into my favorite season of all, fall, I look forward to the various squashes, pumpkins and other stuff that the fall harvest has to offer. I think Steph and I have been pretty pleased with our ratio of local eating this summer. Tonight, in fact, we’ll do a pizza that has local tomatoes, local mozzerella and my own basil. Yesterday Steph spent many hours turning a trillion local tomatoes into frozen packets of sauce that we’ll use long after tomato season is over. This was the start:
Last week we took the kids blueberry picking for the first time. They loved it. It was cute to see how INTO it they were, too. As all you parents know well, finding activities to keep little kids busy is partly the core of what we do every day. You parents on the west coast have it way easier than us because you can take them outside year round! Damn you! Anyway, picking blueberries isn’t just another activity in a line of activities for me. It’s a way to show our kids where food comes from. I think, possibly, too many of us lose sight of that when the only place food is seen is when it is neatly arranged on a supermarket shelf. I will sometimes play a game with the boys and ask them where a lot of different foods come from (the ground, trees, etc) and they love to play along. They also really enjoy going over to my tomato plants and determining which ones are red enough to pick. They also point out every single time that the bunny ate my eggplant. Damn bunny!
Anyway, I hope our subtle games and reminders lead to a lifetime of appreciation of food for them. Not just appreciation of the taste, but appreciation and understanding of the source and the work it takes to make it from the ground to the plate. So far, I think we’re off to a good start.
One of the funny things about blueberry picking is that you always end up with a mountain of them. They end up in our cereal, in our muffins (Steph makes very good ones!) and pretty much whatever else we can put them into. I remembered back to a trip I took up to Camden, ME about 12 years ago. We went out to lunch and I had blueberry soup as an appetizer and always wanted to try to make it. So last week I gave it a shot as an app before dinner one night. The result was quite yummy and Steph and I both agreed it was probably better off as a brunch option, but still, quite good. Picture and recipe are below.
Recipe, verbatim from the Epicurious website:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Juice of 1 orange (or 1/4 cup store-bought orange juice)
- 1 cup fruity white wine (or white grape juice)
- 2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen ones, thawed, with their juice)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
1. In a deep saucepan, bring the sugar, orange juice, wine or grape juice, and 1 cup water to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring.
2. Add the berries and cook 1 minute more.
3. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
4. Purée the mixture, strain it through a fine sieve, and chill. Pour it into bowls and swirl in the yogurt just before serving.