The word blue seems to carry quite a lot of responsibility. It represents polar opposite meanings. One sees blue skies as freedom from worry, clear sailing ahead and good times. In the next breath blue is the very weight of unhappiness, dejection and somber sadness. Given voice by the likes of Billie Holiday, Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith and others, the blues is a music genre woven of trudging work chants, yearning spirituals and anguished hearts. The Blues is also a hockey team. Now there’s a four-letter word of heft.
In the ingestible world there are few foods of that hue. We have blueberries, blue-veined cheeses, concord grapes, a couple of interesting potato varieties, a rare indigo mushroom and a single, oddly turquoise fish called the lingcod. There is a secret way to turn scrambled eggs blue that typically involves being a mischievous child with access to grape jelly while facing a plate of fluffy yellow eggs. Otherwise, if blue is needed on the table, you must resort to food coloring.
Or you can simply stick with the sweet blue fruit native to North America that we’ve shared throughout the world, blueberries. It is amusing that the first explorers of our continent didn’t enjoy blueberries at home until they were imported north to Great Britain from southern European regions. The Spanish, along with their golden loot, brought this berry home and spread it around the Mediterranean. After which it traveled north very slowly. Maybe the northerners were busy conquering other things. Or maybe the southerners were just happy to sell their excess crop rather than their bushes.
Our market is filled with berries of many colors these days. Heaping boxes of luscious strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are lined up along farmers’ tables waiting for their fate. We can pig out totally and still have berries to freeze for the long months between berrying. Rumor has it that Kay Carroll has a splendid recipe for blueberry ice cream, maybe we’ll ask her to share it with us just when we need a reminder of summer bounty. To help, here is a link to a web video describing a good way to freeze blueberries properly. The market website has a number of previously published blueberry recipes, including Blueberry Panna Cotta, Blueberry Coconut Lassi and Blackberry-Blueberry Pie among them. For today our offering is a Blueberry Slushie, which is as refreshing as it sounds.