Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blueberry Thoughts and Sautauthig

The blueberries are so abundant this year the branches are drooping. I'm not sure what variety they are; sometime long ago, someone planted them here. They were big bushes even in 1966; when I first came here. In talking with a former property owner, the bushes were big and mature in 1948 and he remembered picking them.

With so many berries, it's time to freeze some and make wine (it'll be ready for Thanksgiving). Today, I dusted off the food dehydrator and decided to dry some of the berries. All the recipes said to coat the blueberries with lemon juice. Anyone got any hints as to why? Apples sure, lemon juice keeps them from turning brown, but blueberries?

Regardless, I coated the blueberries with some lemon juice and turned the the drier on. It should be about eight hours or so, according to the directions. Sort of curious about this.

In the course of checking our how to dry blueberries I did come across some blueberry facts. Of course the Native people knew a lot about blueberries including a lot of health wisdom. They also dried the blueberries and used the powder as a meat rub. This is another culinary experiment. Could be pretty good with a nice venison steak.

The blosoom end of the blueberry is shaped like a perfect five point star, actuall known today as the "calyx" (for crossword puzzle lovers). In some Native traditions, the blueberry was sent to earth by the Great Spirit to ward off famine and starvation.

Another option, besides more wine, is “sautauthig”. Now I like blueberries in oatmeal, in pancakes and fritters, muffins and bread, and my favorite, pie, or just eaten raw. This recipe calls for dried blueberries in cornmeal mush or grits. According to some Web sites, it was eaten on the very first Thanksgiving. Seems those Pilgrims were mighty hungry.

For sautauthig: 1 ½ cup of water
1 ½ cup milk
¾ cup of cornmeal or quick cooking grits
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
2 cups of fresh or frozen or canned blueberries
OR ½ cup dried blueberries

Heat the water and milk, add cornmeal gradually, stirring until it thickens add the blueberries and honey.

I'll give it a whirl this week, (thinking Cool Whip would be nice) and be a pilgrim. Maybe when I make the wine...and a venison steak.

Blueberries are in season now, buy local. There's plenty of places to get them and they are one of the healthiest fruits to eat and enjoy.

Blogs I enjoy and read

On Your Wat to the Top

New York's Southern Tier

Urban Veggie Garden

And if you care here is the link to my HubPages. Click the title for Helium articles. Thanks.

*UPDATE: Thanks to two people who work for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council who responded to a question about "sautauthig", Ruth Lowenberg and Marcy Erhard. Ruth sent this link about sautauthig and it is pretty good especially if you have children or are a teacher. Thanks to both.

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