Blueberry season is here! My mom has several blueberry bushes and she will graciously share with my family. Sometimes my children will help her pick them, but I am sure they eat more than makes it in the bowl. Picking berries of any kind is fun for all ages. It gives you a connection to the plant and a way to honor the land that gives us food.
There are three blueberry pick-your-own farms in Wilson County that are listed on the Pick TN website. They are listed below with the address and phone number. I encourage you to call or visit their websites to learn about picking times and picking forecasts. See more here, scroll down to Wilson County: https://www.picktnproducts.org/listview/you-pick-blue
• Berries on the Bend, 723 Cairo Bend Road in Lebanon, 615-456-8673
• Circle S Farms, 1627 East Old Laguardo Road in Lebanon, 615-405-6860
• Ralston Farm, 2499 Sugar Flat road in Lebanon, 615-443-1926
Freezing blueberries is probably the easiest way to preserve them for future use in baking projects. How to freeze blueberries? Freezing blueberries is simple, but it is important to make sure to use tested methods. The National Center for Home Food Preservation encourages the use of this method for freezing blueberries:
Preparation — Select full-flavored, ripe berries. Remove leaves, stems and immature or defective berries.
Dry Pack — Do not wash blueberries. Washing results in a tougher skinned product.
Pack berries into containers, leaving headspace. Berries can also be frozen first on a tray and then packed into containers as soon as they are frozen. Seal and freeze. Wash before using.
Crushed or Puréed — Wash the blueberries. Crush, press berries through a fine sieve, or purée in a blender or food processor. Mix 1 to 1 1/8 cups of sugar with each quart (2 pounds) of crushed berries or purée. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pack into containers, leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.
The headspace varies by container size, opening size, and type of freezing.
For dry pack in a wide and narrow opening containers, leave 1/2 inch.
For pureed blueberries, leave a 1/2 inch headspace for wide opening pint container and 1 inch for quart container. For narrow-opening containers, leave 3/4 inch for pints and 1 1/2 inch for quarts.
If you are like my family, you probably won’t have enough to freeze or to make jam. My two children will eat blueberries until they turn blue! Last weekend, we had about 1 cup of blueberries left and we were making biscuits. I found this recipe and made these with my children. They came out perfectly delicious. We will make them over and over. I hope you enjoy!
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 4 tablespoons butter or margarine or 1/2 stick
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 1 egg
• 1 cup fresh blueberries (could use frozen)
• Mix flour, baking powder and sugar together with a whisk.
• Cut in butter in pieces.
• Beat egg and milk together in a separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients and mix with a spoon. Fold in blueberries.
• Turn out onto a floured surface and pat to about 1/2 inch thick with your hands. Cut out with biscuit cutter.
• Place on a sprayed baking sheet with biscuits touching.
• Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until biscuits are brown on top. This makes about 12 biscuits.
However you make memories with your family, take your time and enjoy it. Picking berries, cooking in the kitchen and finding new recipes is just one way I am able to connect with my children. Have fun and enjoy each other!
For more information on this or other family topics, contact Shelly Barnes, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for UT Extension in Wilson County. Barnes may be reached at 615-444-9584 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.