July 2013

MaryMac Berry Farm

image_3There can be so much joy in picking your own fruit. I felt it yesterday while picking blueberries at MaryMac Berry Farm in Brownsboro, a few miles east of Huntsville.image_9The experience became all the more delightful when I took the fresh berries home and made a batch of blueberry muffins. Just knowing the berries were plucked from their stems mere hours before they were dunked in a dense batter and baked, made me feel good.image_7The farm is really wonderful. It’s tucked away along the foothills of Monte Sano, which provide a gorgeous backdrop by the small farm. We went early Saturday morning when the dew was still heavy on the bushes. image_4

frametasticThe grower advised us to look inside the bushes for the biggest, bluest ones and they were indeed bigger and bluer there. Some grow in little bunches like grapes while others grow alone on a solitary stem.

The best part of berry-picking is eating them as you go and noticing how one tastes curiously different from another. Each blueberry had its own distinctive sweetness and flavor. I even ventured to believe that certain bushes produced better-tasting berries than others.image_8They are splendid just by themselves or on cereal but I decided to make muffins out of them too. It was nice to liberally pour the blueberries in the batter because I had so many at-hand. I used about two cups of berries so that each bite would be packed with fruit.image_10I’m glad I did that. Just look at what happened inside these muffins. The fresh blueberries exploded into an amazing violence of dark, antioxidant-packed juices.

I hope you can also find joy in picking fruit. It is, after all, summertime! Stay tuned for more summer produce-related posts…

Vidalia Onion Pie

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Oh yes, the Vidalia onion. They are sweeter and milder than their yellow, brown and white relatives. They’re available pretty much everywhere in the south and prized for their mellow deliciousness.

The Vidalia Onion Committee makes sure these onions are grown in only 13 Georgia counties near the city of Vidalia, where they were born. Something about the soil in that region makes these onions more sweet and less spicy.

But enough about the onion’s history. Look at what I did with some Vidalias about a week ago. I made a pie!

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Slice the onions and cook them in lots of butter until they’re soft and translucent but not browned. Set aside.

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In a bowl, mix sour cream, eggs, milk and S&P until smooth. Add the buttery onions to the mix. Pour into an uncooked pie shell, top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake for about 45 minutes.frametastic

Slice, and enjoy it as a side dish or just by itself. As a Vidalia onion grower was quoted, these sweet onions “only make you cry when they’re gone.”

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