Blueberries and Canning Season

A few weeks back I went to my friend Michael’s place in Harlem to help him can some Blueberry jam.  This was the second batch he had made, the first batch he’d canned the night before had a pronounced sweetness and was redolent of lime.  Even thought the blueberries took second place to the sweet lime flavor it was really delicious and would have been a real treat on toast with salty butter.

The second batch had less sugar and no lime.  I admire Michael’s gumption, over the last couple of summers I’ve done a fair amount of canning, but so far this year I have done one batch of pickled ramps and that’s been it.  In part it’s because I realize that my larder is still full from the canning I did last year, in part I just seem to have lost my canning mojo this Summer…I’m hoping late August tomatoes send me into a canning frenzy: I certainly have a yearning to make a batch of chili sauce, which I think makes a great substitute for ketchup.

Blueberries are a bumper crop this year, when I was out on Fire Island wild blueberry bushes heavy with fruit dotted the board walks.  At the market they also been plentiful, though I have held off from buying any waiting for the word from my friend jane whose daughter and son-in-law own Intervale Blueberry farm in Maine.  Every year I order 20 or so pounds, eating as many of the fresh ones I can and freezing the rest.  The berries are smaller and more flavorful than the conventional ones you mostly see because they are organic.

If you are a big blueberry fan like my friend Michael or I am you should check out Intervale’s site it’s informative and gives you ordering info on how to get the best blueberries on the east coast.

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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