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blueberry-blackberry fool

blueberry blackberry foolBlueberry-blackberry fool has to be one of the easiest desserts to make.  Not everyone is a fan of blackberries but mixed with blueberries and cream, it’s guaranteed to be a hit at the dinner table.  Both blueberries and blackberries are in season so look for fruit that’s plump but not mushy to touch.  Continue Reading →

Overnight Oats in a Jar

overnight oatsMy kids always had breakfast and as they got older I reinforced the values of eating something first thing in the morning.  I still do even though they may roll their eyes at me.  I can hear them saying, ‘yes mom, we know’ (insert happy face here).  But all kidding aside, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, period.  Yes, I know there are those who say they get along just fine without it but as adults we need it to kick start our morning routine and kids need a breakfast, too.  Their bodies and brains are growing and need refueling from food.  Studies show that children who skip breakfast tend to be late or absent from school.   Breakfast gives us energy to start our day and if you skip it you may end up eating more during the day.  Continue Reading →

Peach and Blueberry Crostata

peach and blueberry crostataIt’s peach season, along with other stone fruits, in Nova Scotia.  I, like many, look forward to this time of year when local produce hit the shelves of grocery stores and farmers’ markets.  It also signals the end of summer and even though the days are warm, daylight hours are beginning to shorten.  There’s nothing quite like taking a bite out of a fresh, juicy peach.  Picking ripe peaches isn’t difficult…choose ones that aren’t hard and blemish-free.  Keep in mind the sweetness of a peach does not increase after picking and fresh ones tend to spoil quickly so only pick what you can use within a few days.  Continue Reading →

Blueberry Grunt – a Maritime dessert

Blueberry GruntThis easy and basic dessert is called a grunt because the blueberries make a grunt-like sound while boiling under the dumplings. The grunt was an early adaptation of an English steamed pudding. The New England colonists had limited cooking equipment and a dumpling-like pudding using local fruit was cooked on the stove top.  Wild blueberries are the key to a delicious grunt!  If you can find fresh the better but frozen wild blueberries will work just as well.  I was quite excited to see wild frozen blueberries at Whole Foods Market.

Canada is the world’s largest producer of lowbush blueberries – another name for wild blueberries. Most are grown commercially in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. They are native to Eastern North America and grow best on treeless land or on land that has been burned over.  This recipe brings back many memories of my mom making this even in the hot summer months.  There’s something special about a house filled with aromas from the kitchen…

Serves 4 to 6
4 cups fresh wild blueberries
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water

2 cups flour, sifted
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons butter

In a large saucepan heat berries, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice and water.  Boil gently until well blended and slightly cooked down. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter and add enough milk to make a soft biscuit dough. Drop by spoonfuls into hot berry sauce. Cover tightly with a lid and gently boil for 15 minutes – DO NOT remove the lid while cooking otherwise the dumplings won’t rise and you’ll be stuck with a gloopy mess. The dumplings should be puffed and well cooked through. Transfer cooked dumplings to serving dish. Spoon blueberry sauce over top and serve with whipped cream.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:   This is best consumed the day it is made.  Enjoy!