Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I found my thrill...on Blueberry Hill
(Does anyone remember that song? I was a little kid in Germany when it was popular.) "I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill On Blueberry Hill where I found you The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill And lingered till my dreams came true..." OK, it really wasn't a Hill, but an Orchard, but I did find my thrill. I love blueberries and being in that orchard - just the birds and I - felt like heaven on earth. I wish I could have stayed there all day, just to revel in the moment and to listen to the birds while picking - and occasionally tasting - sweet, yummy blueberries. Whenever possible, I like to drive to Valdosta to buy my fresh fruits and veggies from Mallory's Farm. They also have chickens and a pet Turkey named Tom (naturally) who has a girlfriend, plus a bunch of chickens for selling eggs, but best of all, they have a big blueberry orchard where you can pick your own blueberries for $8 per gallon. They give you a bucket and set you loose to pick at your heart's content. Boy, oh, boy, I thought I died and went to heaven... only I almost did! Die, I mean - it was so hot outside. By the time I got half way through, I started to feel light headed and had to go back into the air conditioned warehouse to sit down. I came really close to passing out - it was over 106 degrees that afternoon and I should have known better. Well, the nice people at Mallory's Farm would not let me go back out there, knowing how hot it was, so Shirley Mallory filled the rest of my bucket with blueberries they had picked earlier that day and charged me the "U-Pick" price, so I ended up getting my gallon of berries that I came for. Shirley came out right as I was taking a picture for my blog. A view as you're coming out of the warehouse where the veggies are kept. I also love tomatoes and Tony Mallory gets his tomatoes either locally in Georgia or from Florida (which is only about 30 miles from here) so that there's always a nice, fresh supply of tomatoes. I even have found some organic fruits and veggies here before and that really impressed me. I've been telling everyone about Mallory's Farm, because I am a strong believer in supporting local and organic farmers! Turkey Tom is showing off for the camera. Shirley said they keep him in the cage because one year, when they were letting their fowl roam free, something killed and ate them...well, at least he has a girlfriend and he's NOT going to be Thanksgiving Dinner. Some of the chickens roam free, but they stick around the caged area and I enjoy getting fresh, brown eggs from them whenever I can. They are really nice and big and the yolk is a deep orange-yellow. Looking at the blueberry orchard from the chicken coop. I brought a stool to sit on while I pick (how convenient - no bending down anymore) and a bottle of water and still got light-headed out there, but Shirley said I could pick early in the morning and that she would leave a bucket out for me. She lives right next door, so I will go at 7 am one morning before all the blueberries are gone. They are at their peak right now and oh, so sweet and delish! It was such a beautiful day, the birds were singing and rustling in the bushes, enjoying their share of the berries too. There were no mosquitoes bugging me and I was the only one out there - I wish I could have stayed there longer, surrounded by sweet blueberries - paradise on earth! ...getting closer... (remember to double click on the photos to get the full effect) Some bushes had branches with blueberries growing in clusters like grapes and they just fell into my hands as soon as I barely touched them, that's how ripe they are now..and they are the best ones I've tasted since I was a kid. The whole time I was picking, I was imagining how busy the bees must have been pollinating all those blueberry bushes and in my mind I thanked the honey bees and of course, God! Needless to say: I LOVE BLUEBERRIES! Blueberry Coffeecake 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour 1/2 cup honey 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup honey 2 eggs 1/4 cup milk 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 6 Tablespoons butter, melted 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Place blueberries in bottom of greased 9-inch round cake pan; distribute evenly. Sprinkle with flour; drizzle with honey and lemon juice. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine honey, eggs, milk, lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla; beat with folk until well mixed. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in melted butter; mix well. Pour batter over blueberries in pan; spread to cover evenly. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cake onto large plate; cool. Protein: 5 g Fat Total: 10 g Sodium: 415 mg Carbohydrates: 60 g Calories from Fat: 27% Cholesterol: 77 mg Calories: 340 Dietary Fiber: 2 g ENJOY! AND REMEMBER TO THANK YOUR HONEY BEES!