Friday, June 26, 2009

Seasonal Saturday: Blueberries

Blueberries are in season right now, at least where The Frugal Hostess lives. She bought some at the farmers' market, and they are delicious. They are sweet and pretty and make TFH feel extra happy.

But wait, you say, blueberries aren't exactly cheap. I (meaning you, Fair Reader) used some in a recipe for President's Day, and they cost me an arm and leg. Why are you (meaning The Frugal Hostess) telling me (Fair Reader) to buy an expensive fruit?

Hmm. Err, back to the third person. The Frugal Hostess reminds you that food in season is less expensive than food out of season. Imagine how expensive it is to grow blueberries in January, when they don't wish to be grown. The bribes, the payola - not to mention the chemicals, greenhouse construction materials, and labor - amount to a pretty penny. What they don't amount to, usually, is a pretty blueberry. Blueberries, and almost every other food, taste like mealy, mushy bleck when eaten out of season. Add to that the associated costs of shipping blueberries from the places they will grow out of season, and one wonders at the point of the year-round blueberry.

Well, The Frugal Hostess could talk about this until she's blue in the face, but she supposes you would prefer she didn't. So, here are some easy ways to use fresh blueberries when you're cooking and entertaining this week.

1. Sprinkle them in your cereal.

2. Mix them into your yogurt (and stay tuned for a yogurt segment coming very soon!).

3. Crush or blend up and add to marinade for fresh tuna steaks.

4. Make this salad: arugula (also in season now) + goat cheese + pecan halves + blueberries. For the dressing, put these ingredients in a jar and shake like crazy: 1/3 cup of olive oil + 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar + one egg yolk + salt & pepper + 10 or so crushed blueberries + some honey. (Please note that The Frugal Hostess made up these measurements because she eyeballs ingredients for salad dressing. So, you know, do what you can, and taste it before you serve it, adjusting as needed.)

5. Make popsicles. Fill these molds with apple juice and blueberries. (Buy the molds here, and The Frugal Hostess might be able to afford a set, too.)

And here is a slightly more complicated way to use fresh blueberries.

The Cheap Host's Famous Weekend Pancakes

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cups milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup of fresh blueberries (estimated)

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. If you don’t have a sifter or are lazy, just stir vigorously with a fork. Add the milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter. Mix until smooth. Add in enough blueberries to spread evenly through the batter.
2. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and melt some butter to cover bottom of pan. Scoop the batter onto the hot pan using a ¼ size measuring cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot. (Easier said than done, right? That's why this is The Cheap Host's recipe.)
3. You can crush up some blueberries to add to your syrup, too, but this is very messy. Whether or not you do that, heat up your syrup (that's right, you can buy some without high fructose corn syrup!) in the microwave. This thins it out, so you use less (good for saving money and saving your pants size), and it also makes eating pancakes more exciting (at least, to The Frugal Hostess).

photo by MeetaK


  1. I love the frugal hostess and think she is very pretty. How's that for nice?

  2. Awww, you shouldn't have!


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