The berries, the stone fruits, the melons -- they are all so sweet, so delicious and so plentiful.
I try to freeze and preserve as much of that summery goodness as I can to enjoy throughout the winter, but it's just not quite the same as eating the real deal in real time, is it?
And this year, we're eating plump blueberries from our very own bushes!
Last year (our first on the farmette), the blueberry bushes did not seem to be big producers and what they did produce was quickly eaten by the birds.
But we got a little craftier this year.
First of all, we fertilized. Yes, it seems like a duh moment but I'm not sure much around here had been fertilized over the past few years.
It's amazing what a little nutrition can do.
Second, we bought netting.
Now, this is a good story. We have one long row of berry bushes, so I bought one big net that would fit over the whole row. I asked Mr. Ninj if he would help me just drape it over the bushes to protect what we could from the birds. Just a quick fix.
There is no quick fix with an engineer, friends.
Now, a few tent poles and zip ties later, we've got ourselves a net house over the bushes in which I can comfortably stand up and walk around.
Last weekend, I harvested our first cupful of berries and, along with the first peaches of the season from my local farm stand, turned them into these muffins. I may sound like a broken record but these are very much in keeping with the Ninj's Muffin Manifesto: sweet but not too sweet, better for breakfast or teatime than dessert.
Blueberries and peaches are such a sublime combination; they just ooze summeriness.
How do you use your summer fruits? The Ninj wants to know.
Blueberry-Peach Muffins (adapted from allrecipes.com)
Note: This recipe makes two dozen regular-sized muffins -- you may end up with fewer if your muffin tins are larger.
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar (I used half white and half light brown)
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup skim milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup blueberries
1 cup peaches, peeled and chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients (the dry). In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and butter (the wet) until combined. Add the wet to the dry and stir until blended. Gently stir in the fruit.
Fill prepared muffin tins with batter and bake for about 16-18 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
(These muffins freeze well, too.)