It’s Blueberry Picking Time!!!
Even though our bushes are not fully mature, we are picking about a quart of berries each evening. That is certainly enough to snack on and make muffins:
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- 2 tablespoons cold butter
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Cut the butter into remaining ingredients until coarse crumbs are formed. I use one of those small, pulsing food processors, which really speeds this process up.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
Beat the above ingredient in a large bowl with hand-mixer, until well mixed. In a separate bowl, combine the following ingredients:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Using a fork, stir the above mixed dry ingredients into the mixed liquid, just until the flour is moistened. DO NOT OVERMIX!
- carefully fold in 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
Divide batter into 12 greased, paper-lined muffin pan. Sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake for 22-24 minutes.
For the last few weeks, Jeff has experimented with scrapple recipes. He tried different ratios of flours (buckwheat, wheat and cornmeal), different meat combinations and finally came up with something that even Tina will eat:
- Pork bones for stock
- Bouillon or seasoned chicken stock (enough for 1 gallon)
- 1 lbs of pork sausage
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 cups cornmeal
Prepare Pork Stock – about 1 gallon:
- Boil pork bones in 1 gallon seasoned chicken broth (bouillon cubes/powder works)
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- Strain the broth, making sure no small bones make it through the strainer
- Depending on how much meat was on the bones, may want to save any pieces of meat in a separate bowl
- Brown 1 lb of pork sausage until crumbled and well cooked
- Mix in any of the pork meat left over from making stock (if desired)
- Run the meat and sausage mixture through a meat grinder (we use the KitchenAid attachment) or use a food processor to make sure the meat is very finely ground – almost smooth, otherwise the scrapple will have a very coarse texture
- Mix 1 cup buckwheat flour and 2 cups of cornmeal
- Add the ground meat to the stock and bring back to a boil
- Slowly start adding the flour mixture, stirring constantly – add a little at a time
- When the mixture is thick enough that your spoon can stand in it, stir and boil for another 5-10 minutes (not all the flour may have been used)
- Pour the hot mixture into greased loaf pans (bread pans)
- Let these cool completely
- Remove the scrapple from the pans and let it dry out in the refrigerator overnight
- Slice into 1/4 inch slices and fry until crisp – serve with syrup if desired, and fried eggs
Left-over scrapple can be wrapped in freezer paper and kept refrigerated for a week. To freeze it, it is best to slice the scrapple and place freezer paper in-between each slice, then wrap everything in freezer paper and place in freezer.
I know that not everyone loves red cabbage – I really do, but it may be one of those genetically inherited tastes. Here is our favorite recipe, which goes well with pork roast or beef roast, especially a “Sauerbraten” – mashed potatoes or dumplings are also great with it.
- 1 medium head of red cabbage (about 2 – 3 lbs), finely shredded, hard center core removed
- 1 medium onion, finely cubes
- about 1/4 cup of butter
- 1 glass red wine (we like to use fruit wines for this one, like blackberry or blueberry)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or regular vinegar)
- 5 tablespoons of blackberry or current jam
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: a dash of cloves
Sauté the onions in the butter, until translucent, add the shredded cabbage and stir well. Add all other ingredients, mixing well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to let cabbage simmer for at least 2 hours. This vegetable is great warmed up – I think it tastes even better if reheated 🙂
Lemon Pound Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
I was searching for different ways to utilize my many bags of frozen strawberries, and came across this lemon pound cake recipe from Southern Living. I modified it a bit (did not include the mint, added baking powder and a bit of salt)… it turned out well, not too much lemon, since my guys are not big fans. Me – I like super sour lemon cake, with lemon drizzle and lemon icing, but not the rest of my family. So this cake is a very mild flavored lemon pound cake:
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 2.5 cups powdered sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whipping cream (also works well with sour cream)
- lemon zest from one lemon
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar slowly, and beat for about 5 minutes. Then add the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour, alternating with the whipping cream on low speed. Then add the lemon zest and juice. Pour batter into a buttered loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5″)
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean. (Mine took about 1 hour and 5 minutes)
Let cake cool, then serve slices with thawed-out strawberries and whipped cream. (If you really crave more lemon flavor, fold in some lemon curd into your whipped cream before serving, or drizzle with a lemon glaze). Enjoy!!
Here is an easy, delicious medley of winter vegetables…if you like rutabagas, parsnips, carrots and garlic:
- 5 parsnips
- 6 carrots
- 1 medium sized rutabaga
- 6 (or more) cloves of garlic with their skin on
- 1/4 cup light olive oil
- 1 sprig dried rosemary (about 2 inches – more or less to taste)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey would also work)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and peel the parsnips, carrots and rutabaga and cut into chunks, approximately 1 inch. Place them in a large (10 x 15 inch) oven proof glass dish and cover with the olive oil, mixing the vegies and oil thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper and place in oven for 30 minutes.
Strip the needles off the rosemary sprig and chop them finely, mix these with the garlic cloves (in their skins). Add this mixture to the roasted vegetables after the 30 minutes are up and return to the oven for another 25-30 minutes (depending on how big your vegetable chunks are).
Remove from oven and immediately pour the maple syrup over the vegetables and mix them up. For those who like garlic, squeeze out the soft insides and discard the paper skins.
(This evening we had these vegies with maples glazed grilled ham slices and potatoes – the squeezed garlic mashed into potatoes with some butter was delicious as well)