Every June for the last eight years, our family would drive to Ray City, GA where Matt’s grandparents live to pick as many blueberries as our hearts desired. The thirty-year old bushes produced berries so fresh that fighting the temptation to eat them off of the bush was difficult. We would all wear blue jeans and hats to beat off the mosquitoes and sun rays, but I have such great memories picking and talking with the family. During a time in our relationship when we were repairing a lot of damage to ourselves and family, this time spent became so important to me. His grandmother was the first in his family to open up to me and treat me like one of the family. Her love of feeding the family good Southern food caused me to fall in love with cooking. She shared her protected blueberry cobbler recipe with me (and many more), and I have been making it after every blueberry trip since. This time, Matt could tell the difference in the cobbler because they weren’t his grandmother’s blueberries. While the taste may have actually been the same, I think the missing experience changed how he felt about it. (The cobbler was gone in a 24-hr period, so I’d say it was good).
.A confession: I don’t much care for cooking and eating in Summer. I’m sure you believe the cooking part but the eating? It’s true! I mostly graze. Fresh fruit and vegetables. Nuts, yogurt, cereal. In fact, as I’ m composing this email I’m eating for the first time today and it’s almost 7:00 in the evening. This is a big part of why I chose blueberries. Just seemed fresh and simple. In March I happened about upon some recipes for toast four ways via an Instagram account known as the feedfeed. I’ve tried three of the four thus far. The blueberry toast I “reinvented” for the sake of the food challenge. Otherwise, it would appear that I’m doing this half-assed. This month’s Bon Appetit magazine has an article about blueberries with around half a dozen recipes. The that I’m using for this challenge was simple and can be used for more than just toast. Top ice cream, yogurt, French toast, etc.
Blueberry-Chia Seed Jam.
Don’t worry if it looks a little runny when it’s hot. The chia seeds will plump as the jam cools, thickening it considerably.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
3 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) blueberries
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp. (or more) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup chia seeds
Bring blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and maple syrup to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, just until blueberries begin to burst, about 5 minutes. Use a spoon to lightly mash about half of the berries to release their juices. Increase heat to medium -high and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until juices are reduced by half, 5-10 minutes.
Remove jam from heat; taste and add a bit more maple syrup if you prefer it to be sweeter. Return to a boil, then stir in the chia seeds; cook 1 minute to soften seeds. Let jam cool slightly, then transfer to heatproof jars or containers. Cover and let cool completely. Chill until ready to use.
Do ahead: Jam can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover and chill, or freeze up to 2 months.
For the toast:
2 slices bread
Blueberries (or blueberry-chia seed jam)
I don’t really bother with measurements. Just toast the bread, spoon and spread the yogurt on top (I prefer Greek yogurt for this, not quite so runny), spoon some of the jam next (or toss the fresh blueberries on instead), then sprinkle some crushed pistachios on top as a natural sort of crown. Excellent light breakfast or snackens!
P.S. Nikita I ask for a rain-check on the tamales. They (or a variation) will be made in the near future!
As for me. Well.. I just like to bake. The last time I made these scones was for Nikita’s baby shower. 10 years ago.. Maybe I need to bake more
My 14 year old stepdaughter Savannah is with us right now and she loves to help. So she’s been my official helper in the kitchen. Something I am always thankful for.
Glazed Lemon Blueberry Scones
Yield: 8 scones
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
The memories and connections over food run deep. Start making your own today.
Nikita, Amy and Georgia
How to join:
If you'd like to join our Saturday bites club send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org