Wednesday, August 24, 2011


My yes we are into food this time of year! 

There isn't a day when I don't eat something fresh from 
someones garden.  what a delight this is.  

We went Blueberry picking today.  It was so neat
to hear the kids exclaim "oh this is a big one!" as they
picked the berries closer to the ground.  We had a great system
Tall adults picking above, short, and med kids picking 
down below.

The weather was heavenly but warm as we left.  
Picking for myself reminded me of blueberry
picking with my son and his friends, they filled so many big buckets 
for me it was amazing how good they were at blue berry picking. 
I was shocked how many pounds I ended up paying for.

So if you only ended up with a few pounds like me 
why not eat them? There is nothing more healthy
than eating in the season of the plant.  
All the vitamins are perfect.  
Why not enjoy them now?

Here are my favorite blueberry recipes for your enjoyment.
Marie McKell's yummy Blueberry pie

3 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and draining
1/4 cup cornstartch
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon Juice
1/4 teas. salt
1/8 teas nutmeg 
1  9" pie shell pre-baked
whipped cream for topping

Place 1 cup of blueberries in a 3 quart saucepan.  crush with a potato masher.  Stir cornstarch into the 1 1/2 cups water, until smooth.  Add to crushed blueberries with sugar, honey, lemon juice, slat and nutmeg.  Stir until well blended

Add remaining blueberries and stir over med heat.  Stir while bringing
to a boil.  reduce heat to a low and simmer for 
10 mins. or until berries are cooked. 

Cool slightly before pouring into a pre-baked pie shell

Cover just the berry filling and chill at least 1 hour
top with whipped cream 

This is best served the day you make it

Pie crust 
(this recipe used to work but with the new shortenings who knows if this still works)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teas salt
1/2 cup shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour and salt together
cut in shortening until the size of small peas
add cold water, stirring in a little at a time with a fork
Add until flour stir's into a ball.

Chill for 15 minutes
Roll to size for 9" pie pan
bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes
I always cook single pie crusts with weights on the crust 
to keep it from falling into the bottom.
If you don't have any use a small piece of foil
fitted it the bottom and sides of the
raw crust.  Trim any that is above the crust.
  Pour in dry beans, fill the sides and bottom 
with the beans.

Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil holding the
beans and continue cooking the rest of the time

Blueberry scones
This is in the ward cookbook
Katherine Currit recipe.  

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 Cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup of butter, well chilled
1 cup blueberries
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk

Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon cream
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder together until well blended.  
Cut in butter. 
Mix egg and buttermilk (should equal 3/4 cup) Stir until blended
Add to flour mixture to evenly moisten , forming a soft dough.

Pat dough into 2 circles, 6 to 7 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.

Place one circle on parchment paper.  
Press blue berried into dough 
 add a second circle on top and gently press together

Cut into 8 wedges and separate each wedge slightly so they do not touch. 
Bake 15 20 minutes, until golden.

Whisk all the glaze ingredients together to make a 
slightly thick frosting that will melt to a glaze 
when spread onto the hot scones.

These are really good!
If I make them now, cool them and then
pack in my airtight bags, freeze, they make a tasty holiday treat with no work
They stayed frozen perfectly until Christmas and after.


Spiced Blueberry preserves
1 quart blueberries
1/4 Cup cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1) Wash and stem blueberries

2) combine in heavy pan with cider vinegar, sugar, 
allspice, cinnamon, and cloves

3) cook until thick, stirring often.
To test, place a spoonful on a refrigerated plate and see if it is thick enough for your taste.  This is the consistency the preserves will have when cold.

If it has not reached the jelling point, cook a little longer.

4) Pack into hot sterilized jars, seal.


Blueberry Bread with orange Glaze

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup of boiling water
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons grated orange rind
1 egg
1 cup sugar
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries
2  tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon grate orange rind
2 tablespoons honey

Melt butter in the boiling water in a small bowl.
Add 1/2 cup orange juice and 3 tablespoons grated orange rind
Beat the egg with sugar until light and fluffy.
Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with Orange liquid until smooth.
fold in blueberries.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
cool 10 min. and remove from the pan onto a cooling rack

Prepare a glave by combining the 2 tablespoons of orange juice, 1 tablespoon of grated orange rind and honey.

Pour over loaf.
makes one loaf


Add them to Smoothie's and my favorite is to top my pancakes and dutch babies
with fresh blueberries.  Great tossed into salads also.

And finally for my personal favorite.
My third child was born in a surprisingly fast way
it was lunch time and because her birth was so sudden and it took them all off guard they didn't think twice about handing me the lunch that was being served.
WOW it was the best food I'd ever tasted and dessert was blue berry buckle.....
 So very good!

Blueberry buckle

Blue Berry Buckle-from The readers digest Back to Basics book
4 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
2 cups blueberries, rinsed
Crumb topping
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
sweetened whipped cream


Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. add the flour mixture alternately with the milk into the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into a buttered 8 inch square baking dish. Cover the batter evenly with the blue berries

Combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon and flour. With a pastry blender or two knives cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. sprinkle the topping over the blueberries. 
bake 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven. 
Serve warm with whipped cream
Makes 6-8 servings. 
Yes the perfect after labor treat.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dinner from the Garden

 click on photo to enlarge...

It was raining but I just thought how nice Mother Nature was to wash my dinner greens!

I collected peas, all kinds of lettuce, chard, onions, and these beautiful dark purple carrots!
When you grate these wonderful carrots the orange strips have a tiny edge of purple.   
Very nice.

I like to cut each veggie differently.
Peas were cut into diagonal, carrots grated on large,
zucchini in little cubes or little match stick size etc.  

After washing and slicing and arranging all the above on a plate I topped 
the salad with some left over barbequed chicken and come candied pecans.

These candied nuts only take moments to make and
I had them on wax paper cooling before I began cutting up the veggies.

I guess all I need to give you is the recipe for the candied pecans. 
It comes from Julia Anita's Salad youngest daughters and I 
took a cooking class from her while we were in 
Florida many years ago.  Great Salad book!

Candied Pecans
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
sprinkle of salt  (recipes calls for 1 teas.=too much)

Heat a heavy skillet over high heat
add the sugar/salt
watch and don't step away not even for a moment
I shake the pan to keep the dry sugar moving
into the melted sugar.  
As soon as all sugar is liquid (this takes but a moment)
remove pan and stir in nuts, be sure and move those nuts until fully covered

pour the nuts onto waxed paper 
use a fork to push them apart so they don't make a big mound
you are looking for individual nuts where possible. 
Allow to fully cool or they won't pull off the wax paper,

You can make these nuts ahead and store them in an airtight container.  

Nothing makes a salad more special than fresh veggies picked from your garden
and candied pecan topping!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Carrots are really fun

We planted several kinds of carrots this year. 

What's fun about carrots of different colors is you never know
what you will pull up for a meal. 
I went out last night and pulled two big beautiful carrots.  

They tasted wonderful. 
Can't wait to pull one of the purple carrots. 
If only I had more space I'd plant more carrots. 
They are hard to keep wet enough to sprout in this hot weather, but maybe in a few days I'll pop some more carrots seeds into some of the empty spaces.  

OK time for a carrot report.  Who has pulled carrots and what did you get?

White Satin and something I had left over from last years seeds

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lettuce and temperature

It doesn't take much heat to make a lot of things go to flower. 
Lettuce will get bitter if they don't get enough water.  

So with our heat wave coming this week....what you don't think
79-80 degrees is a heat wave?  
Well your northwestern plants

If you can't move your lettuce, as in salad table, to a shady spot.
The next best thing is to keep your soil wet
A couple times a day in the heavy heat.  
This should save your lettuce for tasty eating.  

Remember when watering if the sun will hit the leaves 
while they are wet, any plant, then it will burn the leaves and injure the plant. 
I water early in the morning and then in the afternoon 
when the trees shade everything. 
Evening watering invites the slugs to night time dinner 
so I avoid the evening.  
But if the plants need it DO IT.  
And water those 
potato cans to the bottom.  

REMEMBER to harvest daily for the best eating
And if you have miner bugs leaving white spots on your leaves.
Everyday cut off the offending leaves, bag them and toss in 
your garbage can.  You can control this infestation with diligence. 

Midas on rodent patrol! 
Good cat.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Garlic vs Shallots

The gardens are growing!
  At last!
Delight Delight Delight
I'm harvesting peas finally and there are tiny beans on the bush beans

Lots of salads here, the lettuces finally look very good.  Eat yours while they are tender

Now for the Garlic vs Shallots issue.

I pulled all of mine and my shallots stayed small
but here is a photo. 

The shallots grow next to one another so close they can look like a garlic. 
But the garlic we grew this year was white or red streaked
and the shallot is golden.

The garlic has sword like leaves coming from a central stem
Shallots have many individual green tube like leaves.
  The number depends on the grouping of bulbs.

 There are two kinds of garlic
Hard neck and soft neck.

Hard neck has a nice stiff stem down the 
middle and the cloves grow around the stem.
The soft neck act like artichokes with cloves growing
over one another like the leaves of an artichoke.
You can use garlic fresh from the garden but I like it better in a month
it's so wet when I pull it, but tasty.  It gets stronger tasting with storage.

Shallots act like a multiplier onion
The bulbs multiply freely producing several lateral bulbs
The green tube like stems can be cut and used like green onions but the 
very best way to eat Shallots is sauteed in butter. 
They are creamy and sweet and I can't get enough of them.
Perfect in gravy's and sauces or just 
sauteed and laid on top of a roasted chicken breast.