Monday, June 11, 2018

Summer Means Blueberries!

by Jan Drexler

I spent the past three days at a reader's and writer's event in Deadwood, and you need to feel sorry for my family! I have done no cooking at all as I prepped for the event and spent my days away from home.

The weekend was fun - I made a lot of new friends and met some of my Facebook friends in person - but exhausting! I'll be glad to get back to writing!

Before I do, though, we have something to celebrate in our family. Today is our daughter and son-in-law's anniversary! (Can you believe it's been two years?????)

Next week I'll be heading out to join some of my favorite authors for a weekend writing retreat in Minnesota! The retreat is hosted by Gabrielle Meyer and Erice Vetsch and is being held in an historic mansion along the Mississippi River in Minnesota. I'm so ready for this! I'll have photos to share in a couple weeks!

Meanwhile, I'm beginning to think of how to work some of my favorite summer recipes in around our busy summer, and I came across this recipe again. It's been a few years since I made it, but I have blueberries in the freezer!


Blueberry Buckle

In the mid-west, June means strawberries, but July means blueberries!!!!

I bought these at Sam's Club. The price was good, and they're pretty good for grocery store berries - my only option for now.

But seeing these in my fridge awaiting recipes took me back to my earlier life - when I was growing up in southwest Michigan in the 1960's and '70's.

Boy, those were the decades, weren't they? We were all so busy storming into the future that we lost many of the traditions, not missing them until twenty or so years later....

But some traditions never died, and one of those was the yearly trek to Leduc's Blueberries in Paw Paw to pick pounds and pounds of berries to freeze.

If you've never been to western Michigan, you're missing out on some of the best fruit anywhere - berries, apples, cherries, peaches...on and on. Between the Lake (that's Lake Michigan) tempering the winter winds and the sandy soil, it's a perfect place for orchards. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the vineyards! If you're into wine, Michigan rivals California in quality, if not quantity.

But my foray into my childhood memories was complete when I found that Leduc's is still around - check it out here:

I was sad to see they no longer allow U-Pick. The last time we went picking there was when the children were small - but with four children and my mom along, we picked enough blueberries to last all year in no time!

And even though we now live miles and miles from southwest Michigan, if I'm visiting in July, we'll pick up some berries to bring home! I have an aunt and uncle who drive from Missouri to Michigan every year to fill their freezer.

A highlight at Leduc's are the recipes they supply (available on the website). On Saturday I attempted one I had never tried before - Blueberry Sour Cream Cake.

When I got to this point, I thought maybe something was wrong.

The cake layer was too much like a cookie layer, but I kept going.

It looked okay. It even tasted okay - but it was a bit dry. I'll keep experimenting with this recipe. I have a feeling something was left out when the recipe was printed....

But - never say die, right?

Sunday I made a tried and true Leduc recipe....

Welcome, Blueberry Buckle!

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream 1/4 cup butter with 3/4 cup sugar, then add the egg and beat well.

In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cup flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with 1/2 cup milk, beating until smooth.

Fold in blueberries, and pour into a greased 9-inch square pan.

For the topping, combine the ingredients and blend well to form crumbs, and then sprinkle the topping over the batter.

Bake at 375° for 35 minutes.

The buckle came out of the oven at 6:00 Sunday evening - just in time to take it to share at our Sunday evening service.

Oh yes, it was delicious.

And those who walked in at the last minute? Well, they shared the crumbs with me :)

This is a quick and easy recipe. Do you know what really makes it, though? That bit of cinnamon in the topping. Mmmm.....

And it's a good thing I have a couple more cups of berries left - more buckle tomorrow!

Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and growing family. When she isn't writing, she loves hiking in the Hills or satisfying her cross stitch addiction.

You can find Jan on Facebook, Jan Drexler, author, or her website, Jan


  1. Jan, you had me at blueberries. Like you, they hold fond memories of my childhood in Michigan. Of course, we didn't go to a farm to pick ours. We just went into the woods around Higgins Lake.

    I have a blueberry sour cream cake recipe that I adore. And while the batter is thick, it's not crumbly. I'm pretty sure I've posted that recipe here at the YB. If you have/get more blueberries, you should try that recipe.

    As for this buckle, though, I need to give that a try. And I appreciate that it makes a small pan as opposed to a big one, because I will likely be the one eating most of it. Oh, wait. We have a teenage grandson coming to visit next week. I'll be able to make just about anything and then be lucky if I get one serving. He's only 15 and he's already 6'5". I gotta fill up those legs somehow.

    1. 6'5" at 15 years old? Yes, you'll need plenty of fuel for him!

      I have blueberries in the freezer - I'm going to have to look up that recipe!

      Enjoy your time with your grandson, Mindy. :-)

    2. I know!! And he's not a bean pole, either. More proportional. But I will need lots of food.

  2. Nice you had a wonderful weekend away and a writers retreat coming up. I'm looking forward to the Girlfriend Getaway that is happening in Sugarcreek, OH this weekend with Amish authors.

    Anything with blueberries is wonderful. I've never picked blueberries but take advantage of sales when they are in season to put in the freezer. I'll have to try the Blueberry Buckle recipe. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Have fun, Marilyn!! That sounds wonderful, too!

  3. Jan, I can't believe it's been two years! Tell then happy anniversary! I just love that photo. :) She's so beautiful like her mom.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe again! I've been buying blueberries like crazy.