Blueberry picking is in full swing here in Northeast Ohio until Labor Day. I have wonderful memories of blueberry picking as a child with my mother and friends. Only then we went wild blueberry picking and spent a greater part of the day “hunting” for blueberries. It was fun, we were kids, we found fun in the ordinary and simple pleasures of life; much like I do in my adult life. The simple pleasures bring the most joy.
Does anyone remember the classic book “Blueberries for Sal”? I loved this book as a child and I haven’t seen it since I was a child. I do remember reading it over and over and over. Maybe because I was a bit like Sal!
Wikpedia describes the book: “The book opens and closes with a picture of little Sal and her mother in the kitchen, the mother is canning blueberries… One sees in this opening picture Sal entertaining herself by placing the canning rings on her wrist and a spoon, a simple childlike act which helps to set the stage for Sal’s obvious child actions throughout the books. This is not to be the overly diligent or angelic girl of so many other books, Sal is a real child figure. She gets into mischief and causes her mom no end of trouble.”
Little Sal’s Mother takes her to Blueberry Hill to pick berries. Sal drops three berries in her bucket, then eats them. This continues as she and her mother concentrate on the berries and gradually get separated on the hill. What they don’t realize is that a mother bear and her cub have also come to Blueberry Hill to eat berries for the winter. The book uses a number of visual and verbal techniques to compare and contrast the bear and the human families. Both families pictures are similar in compositions, but they head in opposite directions when they reach the blueberry patch. Little Sal’s Mother tells her that they can’t eat all the berries because they need to save them to can for the winter, but the bear mother tells her child to eat as much as it can to store up fat for winter. The bear’s way of preparing for winter is more natural for Sal who soon wanders off to eat.
Sal and the bear cub get mixed up and follow after the wrong mother. It takes the mothers several minutes to realize they’re being followed by the wrong child; it isn’t until the bear cub tries to eat from Sal’s mother’s bucket and the mother bear hears the “ku-plink, ku-plank, ku-plunk” sound of Sal dropping blueberries into her tin pail that they realize what happened. Ultimately each child is reunited with its proper mother and they both leave the hill. Just before leaving Sal drops a blueberry into her empty pail. The end papers show Sal again playing in the kitchen while her mother cans berries.
If you haven’t done so why not go out blueberry picking and capture the memories of your childhood? Or … take your children along and create new memories. However you get your blueberries you will love this moist lemon bread bursting with blueberries. It is over the top good! ENJOY!
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, juice and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in lemon zest, nuts, and blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Remove bread from pan and drizzle with glaze. Cool on a wire rack.
Asparagus and Lemon Risotto – Asparagus is often associated with Spring, but good any time of the year. Enjoy!
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 16-19 minutes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups water
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chipped
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup chopped asparagus
Begin with melting two tablespoon of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once almost melted through, add your garlic and saute until it looks like it might begin to golden, about 30 seconds. Then add your Arborio rice. Stir to coat and cook until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes, making sure to stir regularly. Then add the wine and cook until the liquid is fully absorbed. Meanwhile, combine your two cups of water and chicken stock together. Then add 5 cups of the liquid to your pot. Raise your temperature to high/medium to bring your broth to a very low simmer. Then cover and immediately lower your temperature to low. Cook for 16-19 minutes, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, making sure to stir twice while it’s cooking.
Meanwhile, chop your chives and your parsley. As well as prepare your asparagus by rinsing it, breaking off the ends, cooking it, and then slicing them into 1 inch pieces, cut at an angle. Once your rice is cooked to al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed, turn off the heat and stir in your Parmesan cheese. If your risotto appears to be drying up, warm 3/4 cup of the remaining chicken broth and water mixture in the microwave for 1 minute and gradually add it to your rice until you’ve reach your desired consistency. Then remove your pot from the stove and add 2 tablespoons of butter and stir to coat. Then add your herbs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped asparagus, as well as any other ingredients you’d like to add to your risotto. Stir until well blended and serve immediately with a sprinkling of chives, slivers of Parmesan cheese, or additional lemon zest.
Homemade pasta is so versatile in terms of colors and taste. One of my favorite variations is lemon pasta. Lemon pasta goes so well with numerous dishes and adds a wonderful fresh burst of lemon without being overpowering. Enjoy!
Lemon Fettuccine Noodles
- 2-1/4 Cups Flour
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1-2 Tablespoons Water (if necessary)
- 1 Lemon
- Dash of Salt
Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour.
In a small bowl put eggs, zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1 lemon and whisk lightly.
Add to the middle well of flour the egg mixture, olive oil, and water (if necessary). Add flour or extra water to dough as needed – consistency should not be sticky. With beater attachment, beat on low for 1 minute. Switch to dough hook and mix for 6 minutes. Take dough and cover in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Make pasta into desired shape and be prepared for a taste sensation.
I’ve wanted to make fettuccine for a few weeks and had been thinking about lemon garlic basil fettuccine. Perfect – now I could use up the last of my basil in the garden and satisfy my pasta making obsession at the same time. This is one of the best fettuccine noodles I have ever tasted! Each bite was a taste sensation bursting with fresh lemon and a subtle hint of garlic and basil.
Lemon Garlic Basil Fettuccine
- 2-1/4 cups flour
- Dash of Salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3-4 Tablespoons water
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- Zest from 1 lemon
- ¼ Cup basil
Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour. In a food processor chop garlic and basil.
Combine eggs, olive oil, water, garlic, lemon zest and basil and whisk. Add to the middle well of flour.
Add flour or extra water to dough as needed – consistency should not be sticky. With beater attachment, beat on low for 1 minute. Switch to dough hook and mix for 6 minutes. Take dough and cover in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
Run through the pasta press several times to desired thickness.
Cut into fettuccine noodles.
Be prepared to taste the best fettuccine you ever had! Enjoy!
The perfect Lemon Meringue Pie!
Lemon Meringue Pie can be tricky to make! The meringue often times “weeps” and the meringue can deflate! The search for the perfect pie continued for years, much to my husband’s delight! I would make a pie and if I didn’t like the results, I’d make another, and another, and another … he was in Lemon Meringue Pie heaven! He didn’t care if my meringue “wept” or wasn’t high, it still tasted good!
I have finally found the perfect Lemon Meringue pie, not only does it taste out of this world, it looks as good as it tastes and … No More Weeping!
Lemon Meringue Pie
(Filling and Meringue Adapted from Bon Appétit )
Flaky Pie Crust
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening, chilled
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.
- Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes before rolling.
- Roll out dough, and press dough gently into pie dish, fold overhang and crimp to form decorative edge.
- Pierce crust all over with fork. Chill 15 minutes.
- Line crust with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust until sides are set, about 15 minutes.
- Remove foil and beans. Bake until crust is pale golden, about 20 minutes longer. Transfer crust to rack and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
- 1- 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 large egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
Whisk first 7 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Using whisk, stir over medium heat until filling thickens and just begins to boil, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter. Spoon hot filling into prepared crust.
- 7 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1- 2/3 cups powdered sugar
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large stainless steel bowl at low speed until foamy. Beat in cream of tartar and 1 tablespoon sugar. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat at medium speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 8 minutes. Spread meringue over warm filling, covering completely, sealing meringue to crust edges and mounding in center. Bake pie for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275°F and continue to bake until meringue is golden brown and set when pie is shaken slightly, about 50 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely, about 4 hours. Refrigerate uncovered so that your meringue will not “weep”.