My husband called me from work yesterday with a very urgent message:
“Organic blueberries are on sale at Whole Foods for $1.99 a pint! Go there. Now. Before they’re gone!!”
He knows me so well. A deal like this would be hard for most moms to pass up, but since I am a total organic food geek I took it to the next level. Instead of picking up a few pints, I bought 4 1/2 cases – that’s 60 pints. $100 worth of fresh organic blueberries!!
Because there is no way my family of four could eat all this fruit, Evie and I spent this afternoon blissfully processing our haul to make it last well beyond the natural expiration date. More than half of the blueberries were washed and put in the freezer. We now have plenty for our morning blueberry smoothies.
With the remaining half, I put my adorable new canning cookbook, “Tart & Sweet” to good use. We made several jars each of Blueberry Lime Jam, Blueberry Lemon Honey Jam and a truly delicious Blueberry Lemongrass Syrup. We now have enough jam for eight months worth of homemade peanut butter and blueberry jam sandwiches (the kids’ favorite lunch!). And, the syrup will be too lovely swirled into homemade yogurt or drizzled over homemade pancakes (or splashed into a glass of champagne!).
Living in a big city doesn’t mean I can’t preserve fresh food the way I would if I was a country girl!
Blueberry Lemongrass Syrup from “Tart & Sweet”
12 cups blueberries
4 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, bruised with the back of a knife and chopped
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 cups sugar (I used 1 1/2 cups)
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent burning. Lower the heat to a minimum and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often. When the blueberries have cooked down and the syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it is done.
Remove from the heat and blend in the pot with an immersion blender. Blend until smooth. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and discard solids.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 headspace. Check for air bubbles, wipe the rims and seal. Process for 10 minutes, adjusting for elevation.
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