Blueberry Roll, Blueberry Smoothie and Blue Bacardi
One of the pleasures of writing The Blueberry Years was knowing that it would include recipes. This memoir mainly tells the story of Sarah, my wife, and I as we create and operate a blueberry farm. But throughout the book I also try to tell the story of the blueberry, its long history tied to birds, bears, and human beings, its role in literature, film, and song, and its domestication by a woman and man working together in the early 1900s. And of course, I celebrate the berry’s superb healthfulness and good taste.
So what better way to honor this humble fruit than by including recipes. I solicited suggestions from family as well as from friends who bought our berries at market or came to our field to pick. And I found several other recipes in cookbooks and from fellow writers.
I realize now that pulling together these recipes was a small way to celebrate and remember people in my life: my wife who makes us blueberry smoothies every morning, my paternal grandmother who loved a good pie, and my sister who adds her own personal pizzazz to the Blue Bacardi, a drink of rum and blueberry juice — she spears a few blueberries, like olives, and serves these drinks in martini glasses.
Then there is this recipe for Blueberry Rolls, a favorite from my childhood. It honors both my maternal grandmother, Hazel Robertson, who created it, and my mom, Susan Minick, who made it so often to satisfy her growing son.
I warn you, though, that after eating any of these blueberry recipes, you might get some sideways glances as you become “stricken” with Blueberrium dentata. If you’ve read The Blueberry Years, you’ll understand and just smile even wider.
From Hazel Robertson, Jim’s maternal grandmother
We usually serve this for dessert, but it would be good for breakfast, too.
Note: If using frozen berries, do not thaw before use.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar, divided
5 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
1 large egg
Approximately 1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (see note)
Ice cream for serving (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ x 13” baking dish.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar into a medium bowl. Cut in shortening using a pastry cutter or your fingers until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
3. In a measuring cup, beat egg slightly with a fork; add enough milk to make 1/2 cup in all. Mix well, add to flour mixture and stir quickly with fork until just blended.
4. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead gently about 10 times, until outside looks smooth. Roll or pat into a rectangle, approximately 8”x10”.
Cover dough evenly with berries (all but 1” on sides). Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over berries. Roll like a jelly roll (rolling on the longer side). Transfer to baking dish.
5. Bake until golden brown, approximately 25-30 minutes. Cut in slices and serve hot. Serve plain or with ice cream.
Yield: 8 servings
Sarah’s Bluberry Smoothie
Note: You can add ice cubes if berries are not frozen.
For variations: add a sliver of ginger for zip; flax seeds or soy powder for the health benefits.
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt or 1/2 cup soft or
3/4 cup low-fat milk or rice milk
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups frozen blueberries (see note)
In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Yield: 2 servings
From The Blueberry Connection by Beatrice Buszek
Note: My sister serves this in a martini glass. She pierces a few blueberries on a stick and serves them in the drink as you would olives in a martini.
Juice of half a lime
2 ounces blueberry juice
1 1/2 ounces rum, such as Bacardi
Dash of Grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add fine ice and strain.
Yield: 1 drink