Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Berries: For Brunch and for Books

I love berry season. As we approached Memorial Day, our local strawberry fields were starting to give out. Blueberries were coming in. And the grandkidlets and I took advantage as much as we could. 

I started thinking about some beloved books I read as a child involving berries of all kinds. I mention all the time one of the highlights of my life was picking blackberries on my maternal grandfather's farm. But I also picked huckleberries up in the mountains with my dad and his parents. Berries meant adventure. So, that's why I gravitated toward berry books.

First there was Blueberries for Sal which reminded me of my huckleberry adventures. It's considered a classic.
Here's where you can find a description and ordering on Amazon. 
Then, when I was upper elementary age, there was Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski. This was a book that touched my heart as a child, made me want to read Grapes of Wrath when I was older.

And here's another classic with ordering and description info. 
Now I've read a lot of books in my lifetime and I don't remember all of the children's books I read. But I do remember these two every berry season.

Now that you've let me go down memory lane, here's your reward.  A little dish I whipped up for Memorial Day weekend and will make again for the Fourth of July.  Plenty of protein and low sugar so you can enjoy this brunch dish/dessert without guilt.

Patriotic Muffin-Style Quiche

1 cup Pamela's Gluten Free Baking Mix

2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
1 cup fresh blueberries

whipped goat cheese (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Mix one cup Pamela's baking mix with whole eggs and egg whites. Stir with a whisk, adding a small amount of water to keep the mixture from becoming stiff. Be sure to combine well but don't over mix.

3) Add blueberries, gently stirring until combined.

4) Pour into a greased glass pie plate.

5) Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn't burn and is done in the center.

6) Remove from oven and let cool on the counter for fifteen minutes. Cut into wedges.

7) Garnish with strawberries or additional blue or blackberries. The goat cheese adds additional protein and a great tangy taste to go with the berries. 

8) Store leftovers, if any, in refrigerator.

Do you have any berry picking adventures to tell? What is your favorite berry dish or book?


  1. I'm so glad that you post some gluten free recipes for our readers who need/want them! Thank you, Julie!

    It is pure delight to think back to the books of my childhood. I'm smiling, just thinking about it! Thanks for the reminder!!!

    1. And I love that many of those books are still around for our grandchildren!

  2. I loved both of those books. And berries are...the berries!

  3. I ADORE Blueberries for Sal. Best book ever. Such a simple story but such a clever twist. Still keeps kids riveted fifty years after it was first published. I happen to have some blueberries in the fridge at the moment. I don't have the gluten free mix though...I'll have to improvise.

    1. Kav, I bet you can. And those books have such staying power.

  4. You highlighted two of my favorite childhood books!

    Loi Lenski wrote an entire series that "Strawberry Girl" was part of, highlighting children's lives around the country. This was back before television brought the far corners of the nation into our living rooms, and before very many people traveled outside of their home state. Another one in the series that I loved was "Prairie School." Others were "Houseboat Girl," "Texas Tomboy," "Cotton in My Sack," "Shoo Fly Girl," and "San Francisco Boy." There were sixteen books in the American Regions series, according to Goodreads.

    Hmm. It makes me want to collect more than the few I have :)

    And "Blueberries for Sal"! Who doesn't love a Robert McCloskey book! I love the sequel, too - "One Morning in Maine," when Sal loses her first tooth.

    Okay, now you all know. I'm a children's book nerd. I can't help it.

    And the recipe looks delicious, too! I think I'll pick up some blueberries at the grocery store this weekend.

  5. Cotton in my sack and Shoo Fly were too faves for me. Mainly because my dad suckered tobacco all summer as a kid and we grew up near Pennsylvania and it's Amish community. LOVE children's books and now I have an excuse to buy more.

  6. So does this turn out to be bready or eggy???

    I've been buying blueberries like crazy! My fav (after peaches)!

    1. Really more muffiny but it has a lot more egg in it than most muffins.

      We've been making blueberry compote. And blueberry and peach season overlap here. Hallelujah.

  7. I don't recall the books, but this breakfast looks delish, Julie!

    1. Mindy, these are still in print and are wonderful for children...and adults.

  8. I loved both of those books, and I always recommended them to my students. We've been gorging on strawberries at our house, and the kids have been adding blueberries and raspberries to the mix. But one of my favorites is blackberry cobbler (with ice cream, of course). Mike even made strawberry pancakes last weekend and they were so yummy!

    1. Blackberry jam is in my memory book. And blackberry cobbler for sure. But I've never had strawberry pancakes. Need to try it for sure.

      And isn't it nice to know books last and last as classics?