There's something very childlike in picking berries on a hot summer day. Communing with nature aside, the very act of moving in and out of the underbrush searching for treasure and nibbling something sweet while doing it brings me back to my very young self growing up in the woods of Massachusetts and picking not only blueberries in the summer, but cranberries in an old abandoned bog in the autumn as well.
It's magickal to spend a couple of hours wandering through the woods, feeling the heat of the summer sun on the back of your neck, listening to the sounds of the trees as well as birds calling and insects humming, smelling the scent of a warm summer breeze in your nose and wearing berry-stained fingers from picking those berries that were just a bit past ripe. And if you don't eat all that you harvested before you get back home, there's always the kitchen magick of a pie or some muffins to enjoy and share with those you love.
BLUEBERRY MUFFINS makes 12 regular sized or 6 jumbo sized muffins
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups blueberries with 1/2 cup of these mashed with a fork (fresh wild berries are best but store bought or frozen will work just as well)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375f degrees. Grease and flour a muffin tin or use paper cups to line each cup. It's a good idea to lightly grease the areas between each cup as well so the edges of the muffin tops won't stick.
In a medium sized bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix the mashed berries into the batter. Add the flour, alternating with the milk and beat until mixed. Add whole berries and stir to mix completely.
Scoop batter into muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown (larger muffins will take a bit longer). Let muffins cool for at least 30 minutes before you remove them from their pan.
Photo courtesy of digital-jenn on flickr.