Fresh Direct has officially announced spring, advertising 5 star jumbo blueberries. They aren’t local, but they aren’t the ones brought in from God-knows-where that taste like sawdust. Over the last few days, Mingus and Beluga have eaten several punnets each. And suddenly, Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McClosky, is a lot more interesting.
Mingus is not yet old enough to be Little Sal in the story. Like Little bear, he digs his hands into the berries and “just sat munching and munching and swallowing and licking his lips.” A box of sugar, however, piques his interest in making jam. We don’t actually make jam because it requires a variety of processes that are not kid-friendly. Instead we make jam-ish, which tastes fresher with larger fruit chunks, less sugar, no pectin… and will be eaten this the week.
With minimal coaching, Mingus loads the blueberries into a jar, pours the sugar (with a heavy hand) and adds a little water on top. It’s a hard thing to seperate a two year old from his sugar, but he has the all-important job of pressing the “start” button on the microwave.
1 Pint Blueberries
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Water
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
First, wash your blueberries in a collander and remove any stems. Then put the blueberries into a 16oz mason jar. Add the sugar and water. Microwave mixture on high for 2 minutes. The rest of the cooking is a little bit of an art because it requires knowing your microwave so that the mixture won’t boil over. You can always put your jar in a bowl – if it boils over, pour the mixture back into your jar. No harm done. My method is just to cook it over the course of an hour while the kids play. Every ten to fifteen minutes, pop into the kitchen and press the “Add-A-Minute” button on the microwave. The blueberries pop, some of the moisture evaporates. When your mixture looks like jam, squeeze the lemon juice into it. Give it a stir, cover your jar and cool it in your fridge. Yum:)