I wonder if your summer is as hot and steamy as ours has been so far this year. The days have been hazy, the ocean water warmer then I remember it being here, and the farm dog has been getting a nightly cool down hosing. It is definitely not typical to have so much humidity up here in New England and it’s been taking its toll on us (well, mostly me as I just don’t do heat). Today is the umpteenth day in a row with very high humidity. My hair looks like I’ve been on a homestead bender for the last couple of weeks, it’s so frizzy and unmanageable. Also, cleaning out those pores very well with all the sweating! It’s been beastly. Did I mention I don’t do heat?
My dear friend, Diane (a fellow homesteader), and I went blueberry picking at our favorite little pick-your-own farm in Stratham, NH. It’s called Blueberry Bay and they have wonderful organically raised blueberries. It’s our favorite place to go, pick, chat, eat a blueberry or two and just enjoy some time spent off our homesteads together. Part of the blueberry fields is on a tree line and if you get there early in the morning, you can pick in the shade, a very welcome relief from all the heat. We went the day after a pretty serious thunderstorm and the bushes were all still wet. They are very mature bushes and a lot of them are growing right out into the path, so you have to pass through all the branches and leaves as you move along. Needless to say, we were soaked by the time we finished picking. Honestly, that worked out fine because we were pretty well dried before we left and it helped to keep us cool while we picked (snacked, whatever). We have gone twice this summer already and now have our freezers stocked with delicious fruit to last us into the winter season so we can make lots of blueberry muffins, breads and pies during the long cold winter. Nothing brings back summer during a snowstorm quite like the delicious flavor of blueberry pie from berries stored away from the height of the season, right in your own freezer. It’s happiness on a plate!
I made my guys a couple of blueberry coffee cakes to start their days off right. Michael loves to have a piece of coffee cake with his coffee on a lazy Sunday morning, sitting outside enjoying the fresh air and our little patch of woods. He’s cooped up in a building in a cubicle most of the days so it’s a very necessary thing for him to be able to just sit and enjoy a morning relaxing. And if there’s a hot, fresh coffee cake slice sitting on a plate next to him, well, so much the better!
I’m very sorry I didn’t get a picture of the coffee cakes. I was baking them in the heat and so was working very hard to just get them done so I could get out of the hot kitchen. Subsequently, I didn’t feel up to a photo shoot at the same time. However, I assure you, this recipe is divine. If you’re a fan of blueberries and coffee cake, give this a whirl. I promise you won’t be disappointed. So yummy!!
3/4 c sugar 1 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 c shortening 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs 1/3 c flour
1/2 c milk 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2c flour 1/4 c butter
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Mix shortening, sugar, eggs and milk until well blended. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Add slowly to wet ingredients. Stir until well combined, but don’t overwork the batter. Fold in blueberries. Spread batter into a greased 9″ square pan. Combine remaining ingredients and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle crumbs over batter. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Serve warm, cut into squares. If desired, serve with lemon sauce (which would be lovely!).
This cake is super easy to throw together on a busy morning, or if you want something ready for when you return from church or morning chores. It’s delicious served cold also, or stands up to being reheated in a microwave as well.
I will have other homestead news when I have a chance to sit down and figure out what I want to talk about. We had another sad loss here, and the garden is doing well in some spots and awful in others. I’ve been canning some and planning what comes next on that front. I’ll get around to all of that in my next post. Today, I just wanted to share some summer tastes with you. Enjoy! Until next time, be well, be good to each other and blessings to you all.