One Saturday last summer, I was looking for some local blueberries. There were none at Tower Grove. So I headed to Soulard, where I had heard there lots of them. I had nearly walked around the whole market and only seen little blueberries packaged in plastic clamshells that were clearly not from around these parts, when, like an oasis, I came upon the Ozark Mountain stand. Blueberries everywhere. The guy said that he grew them down in Springfield, MO and suggested I sample one. Tart and sweet at the same time. Amazing. I bought a bunch of them. Then, every Saturday after, I went back and bought more. I remember the last time I talked to Paul. I said, "Next weekend is the 4th of July. Are you gonna be here?" He said he would be.
Well, it was raining cats and dogs on the 4th of July. I got up, got dressed and headed to Soulard. By the time I parked and got in, I was soaked. I made my way over the the Ozark Mountain stand and it was empty. No blueberries. No Paul. And that was the last time I ever saw either one of them.
Luckily I had the foresight to stockpile and freeze. I think we finally ran out of our stored berries back in February. The happy ending to the story? It's blueberry season right now and Paul and his berries are back in Soulard. I bought a gallon last Saturday and God willing, I will buy another gallon next Saturday.
Frozen blueberries are great in muffins, pancakes, cobblers, and pies. In fact, you name it and you can probably substitute frozen for fresh. Don't thaw them, just add them as they are. Here's how I freeze mine for future use.
Step 1: Rinse and spread on a towel. Pick through for stems and funky berries.
Aren't they perfect looking? I'm obsessed with these berries! (Blueberry fun fact: blueberries contain the same compound that cranberries contain that help prevent and eliminate urinary tract infections.)
Step 2: Spread in a single layer on a waxed paper lined baking sheet.
Step 3: Place in freezer until they are frozen solid. (I guess an hour would probably work. I usually put them in there and forget about them for a few hours.)