Blueberry Memories

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Two of the more distinct blueberries memories I have include family and friend. The first, when I landed in this country at about this time of the year I was introduced to blueberries at family’s in Connecticut in what was referred to as Ma Sopher’s blueberry dessert, one that continues to be served for breakfast and continues to remain on the table to nibble throughout the day. The other, when I met a friend from New Hampshire in Baltimore who would talk at length about blueberries and happiness, so much so even though I was familiar with blueberries a new dimension was added.

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While eating blueberries by themselves is quite a treat, here’s a simple method to make blueberry jam.

Blueberries

Sugar (optional)

Lemon (optional)

 

Blueberries that are ripe just so, seem to have a good balance of sweetness and acidity that they don’t need any sugar or lemon. However, if using a batch that invariably has some that are lacking in acidity or sweetness, adjust by adding some sugar and lemon. Toss the berries and transfer them into a short-walled oven-proof dish. Place the dish in a 375˚ oven until the berries have popped open, lost some water, and have mingled with each other to form a red bubbling jam that would thickly coat a spoon. Cool the jam a bit, before spooning it to use in a variety of ways. There seems to be enough natural pectin in these berries that a simple purée at room temperature results in a gelatinous mixture. Also, if the required amount of sugar is not added the jam will have a shorter shelf-life, therefore making smaller batches may be more practical.

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Blue skinned with a white accent, and pigments that blend with the pulp to form a deep red, perhaps blueberries are just a red, white and blue coincidence of nature that are in season this time of the year in the United States, but they do remind me a bit about when I came to this country, and the people I've met.

 

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8 thoughts on “Blueberry Memories

  1. ravi sankar

    Bala - very nice article. I did not realize that you could make blueberrry Jam with nothing but blueberries. But i agree that they give that touch of sugar and acidity that I love. We had a version of toad in the hole - sunny side eggs inside grilled toast that with mint/cilantro chutney and blueberries on the side that we had at home a few weeks ago - so your article reminded me of that experience. Thanks for that. (PS - i was going to share the picture but I think I am not able to add a photo to my message).

    Reply
    1. Bala

      Thank you.

      Your dish that Mrs. Sankar was only so happy and proud to describe as the anniversary breakfast you made for her, sounds tasty, and refreshing. Thank you for sharing the memory.

      Unfortunately, the blog comment section doesn't have a provision for photographs - I'll try to work on it. However, if you'd like to, you could post the photo in the blog's comment section on Facebook - I'm sure all the viewers there would like to see it.

      Reply
  2. Baschet

    Bonjour Bala!
    So nice to read you! Blueberry is more than great!
    All my summer holidays when I was young was to go and fetch blueberry in the mountains nearby Chamonix in the Alps.... we would then eat them with fresh cream and every day!
    My mouth is still blue!
    Also a beautiful song : I" found Montreal on a blueberry hill."... Fats Domino that I saw in London in 1972 possilbly and also again in Paris !

    Happy time you give me Bala!

    Merci merci,
    Catherine Baschet

    Reply
    1. Bala

      Bonjour Catherine!

      Thank you. What a pleasant surprise to hear from you!

      Thank you for sharing your lovely story and lovely song that I just heard after you mentioned it. My wife and I remember seeing in Geneva the road signs to nearby Chamonix, and dreaming about visiting it sometime. Now, we'll have one more reason to do so!

      Merci à vous!
      Bala

      Reply
  3. nirmala

    I first tasted blueberry in US. Right amount of sweetness and hint of sourness resulted in going for it often. The blueberry jam I am sure would be to my taste. I love the rich colour of the jam. When I first saw the fruit it reminded me of the local black grapes which in comparison is more sour to taste.

    The photograph of the blueberry tart brought back memories of the mouthwatering blueberry tart you made . It is the one of your best tarts.

    Reply
    1. Bala

      Thank you.

      The blueberries also reminded me of the dark-colored grapes especially when thinking of how the skin pigments change the color of the pulp when blended. As a matter of fact, fresh blueberry juice is also a little reminiscent of grape juice though I think the blueberry flavor is a lot more delicate.

      Reply
  4. Reva Pershad

    Bala, I thoroughly enjoyed the excellent clicks of the blueberries in their varied avatars (forms) as the delightful red & blue jam in the making, the perfectly delectable tart with the white dust sitting so prettily on the blueberries; the berries in their pristine solitary splendour!
    Your recipe for the jam has to be flawless; with all the useful tips you have so generously given, one would just like to follow it, but only if fresh blueberries can be procured! Sadly, here in Chennai we get only the dried & preserved ones; the pleasure of getting to savour the crunch of the fresh, juicy ones is woefully denied to us! Nothing can quite match the joy I felt when I did get to pick fresh blueberries in Geneva with my niece. Bala, I can just see how memories go a long way in lending that special flavour; relish to a food that has pleasant associations. Must somehow get to make that gorgeous jam!

    Reply
    1. Bala

      Mrs. Pershad,

      Thank you very much!

      Blueberries, Geneva, the Swiss/French border and memories like the one you share (and the one that Catherine shared earlier) just makes me want to go there sometime - thank you for sharing your memory. I wish Chennai gets fresh blueberries, and I wish you much joy with them - I wonder if the hill stations in India might be a good place for them like they are for other berries. Also, maybe, we will have the pleasure of you visiting us sometime during blueberry season.

      Reply

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