Maybe it wasn’t fair to tell my husband over the phone the other day that we’d been robbed. I was kidding around, sort of, but through cellular cyberspace I could feel his heart stop. Birds, I said, our blueberries. I felt his relief and then his chagrin, oh damn, the blueberries!
We knew we were pushing it, three blueberry bushes laden with fruit in various stages of ripening. One of them is/was covered with ripe berries perfect for picking. Large, round, juicy and purple, I can’t blame the birds for their indiscretion. I always expect to share some, but not an entire bush full. Before the heist we picked a bowlful every morning with a plan to move on to the other later-ripening blueberries next week.
We were complacent, crossed our fingers and hoped, inexplicably, that our berries would go unnoticed again this year. Then, bam, we were robbed. We now have blueberry security installed.
There are still plenty of blueberries to come, for a crisp, a cobbler, a smoothie, or unadorned with Greek yogurt or granola. Muffins. The super fruit rides again. Blueberries are in season and available at Farmer’s Markets, which are happening almost every day of the week somewhere: Saturdays the U District, Georgetown and Magnolia; Sundays West Seattle, Broadway and Ballard; Wednesdays Columbia City and Wallingford; Thursdays Interbay and Lake City; Fridays Phinney Ridge and Madrona.
Summertime Blueberry Muffin Recipe
Fresh fruit muffin recipe from the Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook, by Leslie Mackie with Andrew Cleary.
Blueberry Muffins, Thank you Macrina Bakery
Makes 6 – 8 large muffins.
Ingredients: 3 C unbleached flour/ 3/4 C granulated sugar/ 3/4 C brown sugar/ 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder/ 1 1/2 teaspoon salt/ 4 eggs/ 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract/ 1 teaspoon lemon zest ( I used lime, which was fine.)/ 1 1/2 cups whole milk/ 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled/ 2 cups ripe summer fruit cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Blueberries and other small berries are fine left whole/ 1/2 C coarse raw sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins before baking.
Directions: Preheat oven to 375º and brush insides of muffin tin with canola oil/ Sift flour, sugars, baking powder and salt into a bowl/ Mix gently with a wooden spoon and set aside/ In a separate bowl combine eggs, vanilla, lemon or lime zest, and milk, mix with a whisk until combined/ Wet and dry ingredients can now be stirred together by hand or with a mixer. If using an electric mixer, mix slowly and minimally, until ingredients are just combined/ Slowly add and stir in melted, slightly cooled butter/ Gently fold fruit into the batter.
Fill each muffin tin nearly to the top/ Sprinkle each with coarse raw sugar/ Bake in center rack of oven for 25 – 30 minutes/ Allow muffins to cool for 15 or 20 minutes before sliding a fork or knife around each and removing gently.
I used large muffin tins and this recipe made eight. Smaller muffin tins, more muffins, less baking time. Slice a large muffin in half, add a dollop of whipped cream . . . dessert worthy. Otherwise, these are the stuff for a summer morning coffee interlude.
Gardeners and potential gardeners, FYI. Part of growing some of your own food to eat, a lot or a little, is recognizing and embracing the zen moments. After the sweat, the dirty fingernails and aching back, the worry about hungry slugs and birds, stepping outside on an early summer morning, barely light out, alone and with quiet intention, harvesting a handful or a bowl of fresh blueberries is one of the sweet things in life. Same thing with green beans, beets, tomatoes, even zucchini.