I’ve been in a blueberry mood lately. It’s a summer thing and not just because blueberries are the juiciest, sweetest and tastiest in the summer but also because they remind me of some good old things in the good old days.
Like my parents’ blueberry bush. My Dad planted that bush and every day, year after year, from about May through August, when my Dad came home from work he would go out to the garden and watch the berries grow from tiny green pebbles to goldenish-greenish little nuggets to rich, navy blue rounds that looked as if they were about to burst open. It made him so happy to see those berries thrive, as if he were watching his children.
It was only the one bush though so there weren’t that many berries. When our harvest came in we would eat them within the hour, usually with sour cream and a sprinkle of sugar.
Oh yum, I could eat a bowl of that now.
Even the best store or market bought berries don’t have that just picked taste of the ones from a bush in your own garden. But I don’t have a blueberry bush, so summer market blueberries are the best I can do. I eat them now with yogurt (non-fat Greek style) because sour cream has too much fat.
And no sugar. Because, well, you know.
How the mighty have fallen.
I usually buy boxes and boxes of berries when the price is right, and I make a pie or three to freeze.
But the price isn’t pie-buying yet. I only bought 2 boxes this week. I made some soup with some (see my post for the recipe) and this tea bread, which I made for the Tea for cancer patients and their caregivers that our local Hadassah holds every two weeks.
It is fabulously moist and has a distinct but gentle flavor of orange. It makes a terrific snack with tea or coffee.
Orange Blueberry Tea Bread
5 tablespoons butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9”x5”x3” loaf pan (or 8-1/2”x4-1/2”x2-1/2”) and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together for 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Add the eggs and orange peel and beat them in thoroughly. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk and orange juice and beat ingredients to blend them thoroughly. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes (depending on the size of the pan) or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cake rack to cool completely. Makes one bread