It’s amazing the memories your favorite food can arouse with one smell or taste.
When I was a kid, my uncle Mario would pick blueberries in late July/ early August from a few bushes he had in his yard – unless the birds ate them first. Some years there were barely enough berries for one small pie. But when the crop was large, the berries would be shared for both families to enjoy. My mother would make blueberry muffins. I remember the smell coming from the oven. We ate them hot, with butter melting upon its touch.
A few years back, I asked my mom for her blueberry muffin recipe. She pulled out an old Crisco cookbook – the kind you sent away for with several product labels. The cookbook’s pages are yellowed and tattered, and the binding is fragile but several recipes continue to be family favorites.
Last week, my daughter and I visited Kuras Berry Farm in West Suffield, CT. If you haven’t discovered it, I highly recommend adding it on your “summer bucket list.” They have a farm stand with fresh-picked berries, or you can do what we did — pick your own.
The blueberry bushes were loaded with ripe berries.
The farm provides pickers with baskets that have a thick rope attached on either side. You tie the rope around your waist with the basket in front of you. Off you go into the field to pick your berries!
In 30 minutes, we picked 5.15 lbs. of berries. They were plump and sweet. We enjoyed eating them and shared some with family and friends.
Fun facts about Blueberries:
- Blueberries grow on bushes, making them easy to pick.
- While small in size, they are full of Antioxidants, Vitamin C and Fiber.
- Cover and store them in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, washing just before use.
- To freeze: Spread berries on a baking sheet and freeze until frozen. Transfer them to an air-tight container or plastic bag.
With so many berries, I reached for the blueberry muffin recipe and made it. They were delicious! But no matter how hard I try to recreate them, I can’t get mine to taste exactly as I remember my mom’s. Why is that? Maybe my taste buds have changed since I was a kid, or maybe it’s the secret ingredient that mom’s add – love.
Blueberry Muffins Recipe (from the 1949 Crisco Cookbook)
2 cups sifted flour
3 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg slightly beaten
3 tbsp. melted Crisco, cooled to room temperature
1 cup blueberries, plus a few more
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the milk with the egg and Crisco. Stir the liquid and dry ingredients together. Add the blueberries and fold lightly, until all ingredients are just moistened. Spray/grease the muffin tins. Fill each cup two thirds full with batter. I added a few extra berries to the top of each muffin. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes 12 medium-size muffins.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my quick trip down memory lane and that you have a chance to stir up some of your sweet memories.
Have you ever been blueberry picking?
What’s your favorite blueberry recipe?
What favorite food takes you on a trip down memory lane?