Saturday, June 20, 2015

Home made Calzones and blueberry season is on!

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have some pretty pictures from our first picking at the blueberry patch. We usually pick 100 lbs or more a season (which is about a month, so by the time we hit 100 lbs, the kids are protesting yet one more trip). This year, the season will be very short because of a hard freeze in November, so we aren't going to get our usual haul, which means there won't be so many frozen berries in the freezer! Sadness... but it is what it is. 
And I'm just glad we have these organic, deer/wildlife friendly, close and cheap (1.75 a lb) options. SO glad. Especially since our cherry season came and went... with nothing. That same hard freeze knocked our cherry orchards to the curb. As locavores (as much as we can), that hits us hard, too. We rely on those fresh fruits and veggies in the summer, and use them to put up stores (canning and freezing) for the winter. Again, it is what it is. 
Anyway, I was so proud of my crew! They picked 25 lbs of berries in 20 minutes in 90F+ heat. In and out. BAM. The woman at the weigh station was IMPRESSED. But it was hot and they sure didn't want to linger! Anyway, those 25 lbs are gone. In fact, they were gone in two days! We shared with neighbors, shut-ins, friends, relatives, and ate them by the handful. We also bartered with a friend for the loan of some old movies. Even though I'm sure she would have loaned us the movies for nothing, it was fun to have something to exchange. (That's a whole other story. Our summer project is classical movies. The kids are thrilled. LOL.)
We didn't even get any ticks, haha. 
 So, now for the dinner part, since we didn't really bake anything with the blueberries. mmmmm, calzones!
OK, simple pizza dough recipe. But if this looks like a lot, IT WAS. I may be a teeny tiny bit distractable and there were a lot of people in the kitchen... which brings me to this bowl of yeast which is not quadrupled... but DECUPLED.  Yup... I multiplied the amounts by ten! We had a LOT of pizza dough.

 2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup warm water
Set aside for ten minutes.
Add 1 1/2 cups flour into a bowl, make a well, pour in the yeasty mix and start to combine. When it's all mixed together, knead for about five minutes and then put it in a bowl to rise for about 30 minutes. (I should have taken a picture of our bowl. It was hilarious. SO MUCH DOUGH.)
Roll out as thinly as possible... We didn't do this and the calzones were delicious but pretty thick. The great thing? Everybody could make their own version. This one had sweet peppers, onion, pineapples, two kinds of cheese and sauce.
My math-loving child making a joke.
Fold and press the sides together.
Mark the top so everybody knows which is which. Veggie lovers will not be happy with pepperoni, and vice versa.
 This one was supposed to say what was inside but it apparently it's "for Papa's Work". Meaning, one of the kids made this for his lunch the next day. I have no idea what was in it, but he didn't complain, so it must have been good.
 Inside shot. Mmmm.
These look gigantic on these tiny plates, but they were actually sort of small. That's the nice thing about a home made calzone- you can adjust the insides AND the size!

And my little guy with his creation that he shared with his brother. They were VERY proud of all the work they did, and it turned out perfectly! I love having kids in the kitchen... as long as someone else does the multiplication, apparently. 
Until next time!
Oh, I'm also putting this up approximately 1.5 hours later than normal, just to welcome Mary/Cate to Yankee Belle Cafe. Next time I'll try to upload giant pictures, or make it in a tiny font. We want you to feel at ease in this crazy place, lol! 


  1. Ooooohhhhh....blueberries!!!! I'm trying not to covet. Ours aren't out until August. But I hope to nab some fresh strawberries this morning. Almost on my way out the door! Love fresh berries.

    And these calzones look amazing. Like pizza pies. What a great idea for lunches too. Crazy funny math skills error. I have to be so careful because if I double a recipe I have a tendency not to double a few key ingredients which leads to disastrous results!

  2. Ha! Exactly! I usually rewrite the whole recipe because I have a terrible memory, but this little pizza book is brand new and I hadn't written notes and put then in it yet. Fatal flaw!

  3. And happy berries! We went to the strawberry farm a few weeks ago and I wanted to buy the store. When October hits, I feel completely bereft. We eat so much fresh produce here that winter comes as a shock. But then... spring comes again and it's like being reborn. We're so thankful!

  4. So funny! Now that my crew is grown and the leastun's aren't big enough to pick handily, I buy huge bags of frozen fruit and re-bag for the freezers and make jam. It's cheating, I know, but honestly at this stage of my life, I'd rather write stories and pay someone else to pick the fruit... Unless it's stuff we grow here, our rhubarb and strawberries and veggies... But when the Blodgett crew was younger, we had fruit-picking parties all the time, at various farms and we loved it. And we always had a Strawberry shortcake Supper, all the strawberry shortcake you could eat, with as much whipped cream as you wanted. Now that was way fun!!!!

    1. Ruthy, my youngest are five and six. You dont have any kids that age? Oh... I guess I mean sitting kids... which would be awkward if their mothers objected to you taking them out for a little hard labor! Too bad, it's a good experience for kids to use their hands and create and work in the outdoors, not just play. And not for badges or pats on the head, bit to share!

  5. LOL, Virginia! We haven't had an giant photos in a while. I think it's time. :)

    I'm so jealous of your blueberries!! I love them in season but we have to pay a small fortune for them around here. I can't imagine having them by the bucket!!

    1. I saw a friend's post about picking a gallon of blackberries for her chickens. I was aghast! They're like gold here! (The blackberries, not the chickens.) Anyway, blueberries are SO good for you, too. An original super food!

  6. BTW, your kids are such cuties. I can't imagine ever being able to say not to those precious big eyes!

    1. Oooh, I know. Luckily for me, they're very good kids. Maybe every now and then they'll get a little spoiled and think ice cream after every meal is the norm, or they dont have yo pick up their socks, but for the most part they are always up for an adventure and love to help out.

  7. Thanks for making me welcome, Virginia. :)

    The blueberry pictures alone would have done it. Ah, blueberries. I really do think more clearly when I eat them. That's my excuse. (Do I really need one though?)

    I'm hoping our farmers market will have strawberries tomorrow. I never understood the lure of the strawberry until I tasted the sweetness of freshly picked, small local berries.

    I've been wanting a spinach calzone but didn't want the crazy salt of the pizza place ones so this recipe is perfect. Thanks!

    1. Lol, you're so welcome! I was writing "party 3PM) on my hand so I didn't forget a friend's water balloon party... and realized it was clear where I usually write "YBC"... and it was 10PM. Sigh...

  8. Berries! I miss picking berries and other fruit. One of the prices we pay for living where we do. So I take Ruthy's route and buy them frozen. Not as much fun, but at least we get to eat the fruit :)

    And I love seeing your family work together in the kitchen. Such fun! They'll be sharing that love and those skills forever.

    1. I have ONE child that's never wanted to help cook, but he hates the strong smell of herbs, doesn't like his hands dirty, and doesn't like the banging of the pots or spoons. So, he's always been one to fold napkins or arrange the flowers for the table. The rest of the kids I have to kick out of the kitchen when I need to cook quickly. I sure hope these skills will serve them well. And the other kid will just have to eat frozen dinners or something!