Word is out—the local berry patch is open for business. Each spring locals await the news. I like to attend opening day, as the first two rows of O’Neils are the best blueberries ever tasted. Donning long pants, shirt, and gnat netting I head out. This year’s gems did not disappoint. In just under and hour I plucked nearly four pounds of fruit.
Any berries found with worms went into my breast pocket for the back-yard birds. There are numerous fledgelings on the ground this week and they are so funny when tasting morsels for the first time.
When checking out, I always stock up on the limited edition berry patch honey produced by a local bee man. Yummy.
Heading home with pastoral views galore, I again am filled with gratitude for living in this rural paradise.
Back home I placed the berries in single layers on sheet pans in order to allow them to fully ripen at room temperature over the next twenty-four hours. This is a valuable tip, passed on to you—lessons from the grower.
Never cook or freeze blueberries.
This is sacrilege.
This fruit is perfect from the bush, and should only be eaten raw out of hand during season. Processing destroys the overall integrity of this prized fruit.
So much for jam, man!
Therefore, after twenty-four hours on the counter, these yummies go into a storage bag, unwashed, then into the fridge drawer. Only when I grab a handful, do I rinse what I eat. When the bag is empty, I then dream of next year’s harvest—another binge satisfied.
Try this berry zinger iced tea with blueberries. YUM!
(brew double strength and add agave while hot)
For lunch today I strolled the garden and found some lovely spinach, Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, and beautiful sage flowers.
Flea beetles are at bay now, so produce thrives.
Back in the kitchen, I began water for pasta and gently washed kale and a large handful of spinach. I steamed the kale for three minutes then added the spinach for another two. When the pasta was al dente, I rough chopped the greens and mixed both into the hot pasta then added a splash of olive oil, a dollop of sweet butter, sea salt and red pepper flakes. When this dish is cold, it will make a nice salad for tomorrow’s lunch. I will add my favorite dressing to it then.
If you have never tasted fresh sage flowers, you must. I promise a grand surprise. The subtle yet clear flavor is outstanding and memorable. These flowers usually never make it to my prep table, as they are wonderful eaten in the garden. I must create a few recipes—say sage flower infused vodka or sage flower ice cream.
OMG, if you have sage blooming in your garden, go taste now!
OK, this blog is complete.
Thanks for visiting and following—your comments are always appreciated. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend. Virginia is headed for her first 90-degree temps of this year. OMG!
Copyright © 2012 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved