Monday, July 5, 2010

Boomberry, Jamberry Skies!!!!

The summer is the height of berry season, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.  My sons adore any berries and they really never make it to a dessert, because they are eaten up right away.  One of the simple pleasures in life is living where I do.  Harlow's Sugarhouse in Putney, Vermont has berry picking all season long and I have to say it is well worth it.  Even if it is 90 degrees out and the humidity is choking you. The berries are worth it alone.  If ever in Southern Vermont, you MUST check out Harlow's Sugarhouse located in Putney, Vermont, 556 Bellows Falls Rd, Putney, Vt. 05346 (802)387-5852
Last year I went apple picking with my good friend Merrie Beth, and I kid you not it was like walking in the Willie Wonka factory of apples..they were EVERYWHERE, and huge, just bending the branches...I was so excited I could not decide where I should pick.  Every time I thought "OK, this is place" I would look around an see other apples just as big.  WOW, definitely an experience.
But anyways the berries.  Berries are high in Vitamin C and relatively low in calories, aid in immune system function and prevent some forms of cancer.  Berries trumpet the summer season in, and most of us can remember when we were younger sitting by a berry bush and making ourselves sick on their intoxicating nectar.  Berries are great on their own with no help from other ingredients.  But there are things that enhance an already good thing.  Sugar can bring out the sweetness in the berry and make it pop in your mouth, while lemon juice or certain spices in combination with sugar showcase a berry's attributes. However you decide to use them, it is important to pick berries with no blemishes and free from mold.  Most berries only have a shelf life of 2 to 3 days and any overripe berries should be eaten immediately otherwise those berries will like the saying spoil the bunch, return to dry container and cover with a paper towel to absorb any moisture. Moisture is what breaks the berries down.

Jamberry Cake

3 cups flour
1 pound butter
5 eggs
3 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

In a bowl whisk together flour,baking powder and salt, set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until it light and fluffy, add extracts and mix, add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Alternate dry and wet, starting with the flour mixture and ending with dry until all is incorporated.  Fold in berries and pour into a greased 10" tube pan and bake in 325F oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with more berries and whipped cream.

Never eat more than you can lift.~ Miss Piggy

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