The Shopper Kitchen: It's Blueberry time!
By Angela McRae, The Shopper Kitchen
Many years ago now, I had the pleasure of house-sitting for my friends Art and Ruth Schroeder of Newnan when they were off on one of their many jaunts across the country. My friend Ruth had beautiful gardens that needed tending—she’s one of those women who can smile at a plant and it grows a foot—so I knew that keeping her beloved plants alive would be part of my duties.
I received lists of what needed watering when and how much. One plant might need “just a little drink,” while others needed “a good soaking.” But the best of the instructions informed me that I could feel free to pick and eat all the blueberries I wanted while I was there.
Blueberries? In Georgia? Indeed, the Schroeder gardens had lush blueberry bushes that were producing quite nicely during my time at their home, and I plucked and ate the sweet berries to my heart’s content.
Ruth was born on an island in Maine, and I have always loved to hear about her life there and about Maine’s legendary blueberry crop. I’m not sure I had ever seen a live blueberry bush until that time of house-sitting for my friend, but today, I’m aware blueberries grow quite well in Georgia.
About the time the caramel craze hit our country, I began to notice that recipes with “brown sugar” in the title were all the rage, and I wondered if I could find one that included brown sugar and blueberries. When I couldn’t, I experimented until I came up with a recipe I liked.
Now who doesn’t like blueberries? They’re perfectly packaged, they come in a beautiful color, and they’re a good source of Vitamin C and fiber. And each July Fourth, how on earth would we make all those American flag cakes without blueberries to represent the stars on the flag?
Eating blueberries straight off the bush is my favorite way to partake, but when that’s not feasible, these muffins are a yummy way to enjoy any extras you might have picked.
Blueberry & Brown Sugar Muffins
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk (I used 2-percent milk)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries
About 1/3 cup brown sugar, or as desired
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix well. In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, add the vegetable oil, egg, and enough milk to bring the total contents of the measuring cup to 1 cup. Add vanilla and blend well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix lightly, just till combined. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among paper muffin cups, sprinkle each with a scant teaspoon or so of brown sugar, and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick or tester comes out clean. Yields 12 muffins.
Angela McRae is a freelance writer and editor from Newnan, and you can find out more about her work at angelamcrae.com. Email questions and comments to her at [email protected].