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Monday, July 13, 2009

It's time for Blueberries!

The blueberries are ripe and ready for picking! Many area farms offer pick-your-own opportunities - a full list is available below.
This weekend, July 18th & 19th, is Historic Bethlehem's 24th Annual Blueberry Festival.
Fun for the entire family - a weekend of great food, live music and family fun at Burnside Plantation- a farm in the city. A wide variety of blueberry desserts, (including the best blueberry pie and ice cream), will be available for snacking. Music, crafts and demonstrations will also be offered.
Researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) rank #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables.Antioxidants help neutralize harmful by-products of metabolism called "free radicals" that can lead to cancer and other age related diseases. Anthocyanin -- the pigment that makes the blueberries blue -- is thought to be responsible for this major health benefit.
If you can resist eating them straight from the basket, here are a few recipes to try:
Old-Fashioned Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries or 3/4 cup frozen (thawed and drained)
Heat oven to 400°. Prepare struesel topping (listed below). Grease the bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups or insert paper muffin cups. Beat milk, oil, vanilla, and egg. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix just until flour is moist. Batter will be lumpy. Fold in blueberries. Divide evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the streusel topping and bake 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons firm butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix all ingredients until crumbly.

Easy Peach/Blueberry Cobbler
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen sliced peeled peaches
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
Directions: Heat oven to 350° Melt butter in 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar and baking powder; add milk; and stir until blended. Spoon batter over butter in baking dish; do not stir. Combine peaches, blueberries and 1/2 cup sugar; spoon over batter. Do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes until dough is lightly brown. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired. Serves/Makes: 6

Lemon Blueberry Scones
The flavors of lemons and blueberries come together nicely for these tasty lemon blueberry scones.
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing on the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries
Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. mix just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Fold the berries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the berries because their strong color will turn the dough blue.Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches.

Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown.

Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

Mix the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and butter. Microwave for 30 seconds on high. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

Blueberry Martini

2 oz Cranberry Vodka

2 oz. Triple Sec

2 oz. blueberry juice

1 dash of lemon/lime soda

Combine the vodka, triple sec and blueberry juice in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with Sprite, garnish with fresh blueberries, and serve.

Here are some area farms where you can pick your own blueberries and other fruits/vegetables. Please call first to be sure of days/hours. (Listing courtesy of The Morning Call).

3879 E. Mill Hill Road,
Lower Milford Township
Pick your own: Strawberries, snap and sugar peas, blueberries, peaches, apples, pumpkins
Other: Pre-picked seasonal fruits, vegetables and honey
Info: 215-679-7756

2141 Pirma Ave.,
South Whitehall Township
Pick your own: Blueberries, sour cherries, blackberries, currants
Info: 610-433-8826

5681 Berry Dr.,New Tripoli
Pick your own: Strawberries, blueberries, red raspberries, peaches, blackberries, sour cherries, sugar peas, pod peas, and string beans
Other: Pre-picked seasonal fruits and vegetables
Info: 610-298-2591,
1767 Clearview Road,
North Whitehall Township
Pick your own: Pears, raspberries, apples, cherries, peaches, pumpkins
Other: Pre-picked produce, bakes goods and preserves
Info: 610-261-2323,


5761 Nor-Bath Blvd.,
East Allen Township
Pick your own: Strawberries, shelling peas, sugar snap and snow peas, pumpkins, gourds, squash
Other: Fresh rhubarb available
Info: 610-837-6282,

262 Trapper Road,
Pick your own: Strawberries
Other: Honey available year-round
Info: 610-262-6400

6490 Kaylor Road,
Pick your own: Sweet and sour cherries, apples
Other: Pre-picked corn, peaches, nectarines, plums, pumpkins
Info: 610-498-3020,

548 Monocacy Drive,
Pick your own: Strawberries, pumpkins
Other: Pre-picked seasonal fruits and vegetables, annual and perennial plants
Info: 610-837-9582

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