It’s blueberry season! If you haven’t already noticed the cheaper prices at the store and started stocking up, perhaps, like us, you’ve been out blueberry picking and come home with buckets full of berries. And you’ve been secretly muttering to yourself, “kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk!” as you picked. (The reference is from a delightful children’s book, Blueberries for Sal, which you absolutely must read if you haven’t already.)
We participate in a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) and last week the only produce was – pick all you can carry blueberries! We came home with two gallons, but could have gotten more except that the rain threatened and we had company coming. That’s a gallon bucket on our car seat in the picture above. It looks so small and benign in that photo, doesn’t it? In reality, two of those buckets meant so many blueberries taking up precious counter/refrigerator space. Or rather, a danger that the Norseman would eat them all in short order, leaving none for me. And so preservation methods had to be taken!
First, I made a delicious blueberry crisp, while the Norseman and his dad proceeded to sneak almost a half-gallon’s worth of handfuls into their mouths. The next day, I froze what remained in quart size freezer bags. To do the same:
- Get some quart sized freezer bags. Gallon size is okay, but not as easy to stuff in crevices in small freezers. Sandwich bags are not freezer bags. Neither are snack bags. Both will leave your blueberries tasting like freezer. Which is actually very disgusting.
- Scoop unrinsed blueberries into the bags using your clean hands.
- Seal bags and place in freezer
Voila! Frozen blueberries are at your service! Now if you are weirded out by unrinsed berries, and absolutely did not sample them from the bushes while picking, here is an alternate, slightly longer method, called flash freezing.
- Again, start with freezer bags
- Dump berries into a colander and rinse with water.
- Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and try to keep them from touching
- Carefully place sheet into the freezer, keeping it level. Make sure it stays level in the freezer.
- Set a timer for ten minutes.
- Remove tray and dump berries into freezer bags. I recommend leaving the bag in the freezer between trays, so that the berries don’t thaw and start sticking together.
That’s it! If you’d like to go up a level in difficulty, and have preserves for toast or pancakes, expect some links in the Weekender on Saturday, as well as post coming later on my method of making preserves.