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Summer Is For Blueberries

Now is the time to stock up

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If you're pale-complexioned and going bald -- and I am; thanks for noticing -- summer gets tougher each year. Once you've faced the indignity of slathering your scalp with sunblock, the season's childhood magic dissipates. 

Except where blueberries are concerned.

Much of the year, blueberries come in tiny plastic boxes -- the Tiffany earrings of the produce section. But for a few weeks in mid-summer, these tart little sapphires suddenly become affordable.  And you'll find few deals better than this season's Whole Foods one-day blueberry sale: Organic blueberries shipped from North Carolina will be $1.99/pint at the East Liberty store on Fri., June 17. 

"I can't even tell you how many pallets we've secured," I was told by a produce-department manager. "But I wouldn't wait around until evening to pick some up."  

What to do if you buy more than you can eat? Make jam, naturally: 

Rinse 6 cups of blueberries, removing stems and overripe fruit. Crush half the berries. Mix with remaining berries, 3½ cups sugar (can be reduced), ¼ cup lemon juice and two teaspoons grated lemon rind. On medium-high heat, bring to boil for 15 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness. Stir often, skimming any "foam" at end. 

If you know how, this recipe is suitable for canning (the acidity of lemon and berry makes pectin unnecessary). What better way to stretch out the summer for another few weeks -- without having to apply more sunblock?

 

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