August 23, 2007

Blueberry muffins. Oh, yeah!

blueberry muffinsYummy!

As surprising as this may seem, blueberries are grown in Honduras. I don't know for sure, but I think they are grown in the cooler mountainous areas and mostly for export. They grow the large rabbit eye blueberries that are grown in Texas.

Blueberries are rare here in La Ceiba. We've only seen them at the grocery once before. Another time a neighbor whose uncle grows them for export gave us a couple of gallon bags. Boy, was I happy! We shared some with our workers who had never seen blueberries before but really liked them, too. I hoarded the rest for months in the freezer.

A couple of weeks ago,
El Jefe happened upon some at the grocery store. He brought a large carton home and we played a guessing game about how much they cost. I guessed L.100 (US $5.29). He pointed his thumb down. I guessed L.60. He pointed his thumb down. I guessed L.40. He said L.25! "L.25 and you only bought one carton?!!!! I would have bought them all!" I cried in dismay.

The next time we went to the store, they still had the cartons, but the berries were all watery and rotten. What a disappointment! To top that off, probably now the manager thinks they won't sell and he'll never stock them again. Boo hoo!

I'm dying to get some blueberry plants to try them here. My soil is certainly acidic enough. It may be too humid but I sure would like to try them. I asked my neighbor if I could get some plants from his uncle but never heard back. He's probably afraid that I will go into competition with him − Not a chance! I'm keeping all my blueberries.

Before I moved to Honduras, blueberries were my favorite fruit. Now I would have to say that mangoes are my favorite but that doesn't mean that I still don't love blueberries.

Here is the recipe that I used:

Blueberry Muffins
(recipe from Jordan Marsh Dept. Store - Boston)
Makes 12

blueberry muffins1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups blueberries
Sugar for sprinkling tops

In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add alternately to creamed mixture with milk and vanilla. Crush 1/2 cup berries and add to batter. Fold remaining berries into batter and spoon into muffin pan. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes and turn unto wire rack. (205 calories each!)

I doubled the recipe but only used two cups of blueberries because that was all I had left.

Bonus tip: Blueberries freeze very well. The key is to not wash them first. Freeze them in plastic freezer bags and wash them as you use them. That way not only can you pour out just the quantity that you need, but the skins don't get tough as they do when they are washed before freezing.

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