Blueberries, fresh from the field

Yesterday we went blueberry picking. It was the first day of the season, so it was a little like a treasure hunt to find the berries. Still, though, we came home with just over 3lbs of beautiful blueberries. it was really a perfect day. not too hot, a nice breeze, and the berry bushes still had dew on them, so when you walked in between the rows of plants, you got a little shower! I’m sorry I didn’t have my camera with me to take pictures. Adam didn’t contribute a single berry to the ‘pot’ they all went directly into his mouth. he’d say, “I got a berry” and deposit it directly into his tummy.
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Today, I went to publix with dorothy for some stuff, and she asked me if she could have little bites, and she had to explain what they were to me. Once I understood what it was that she wanted, I told her no, but we could make our own blueberry muffins. We could even make them tiny, if she wanted.
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I’m not 100% sure that tiny muffins really work here, since the blueberries are so big, and the muffin cups are so small. If you go the ‘tiny’ route, don’t do what I did. I overfilled them. big mistake.
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once the cups were full….I took the batter that was left and fished out the berries, and added them to the already full cups. Don’t do that. I should have baked what I had, and then done another few muffins. But I didn’t. Don’t be like me.

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS 
my mother found this recipe in the New York Times Magazine a long time ago….I think I was still in college. Its been with us ever since

½ cup unsalted butter
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour (I replaced 2/3 cup AP with 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour. Can’t taste the difference)
2 tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. kosher salt (omit if using salted butter)
1½ cups fresh blueberries (I often use frozen. DO NOT DEFROST BEFORE USING)
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 375. Using an electric mixer combine the butter and lemon zest.  Add one cup of sugar and beat until light.  Mix in the egg and then the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Place the blueberries in a bowl and toss with ¼ cup of the flour mixture.  Add the remaining flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just to combine.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Line a muffin pan with paper muffin cups.  Spoon the batter into the cups, filling them about ¾ full.  Sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar.  Bake until muffins are lightly browned and spring back when touched in the center, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Makes about  11 regular sized muffins, and about 30 minis

**If you don’t have field fresh blueberries….just use frozen. Keep in mind, though, the batter will get very stiff when you mix them in, since you’re effectively re-freezing the butter. And you’ll need a little extra cooking time. But they’ll be just as good. I promise.
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