Friday, July 12, 2019

Blueberry Month!

I don’t know how national days are determined, but it’s fun to see what kind of celebrations we crazy Americans set aside and deem important. Some wacky and wonderful themes are:
July 3: Compliment Your Mirror Day
July 10: Teddy Bear Picnic Day
July 15: Be a Dork Day

A perusal of the July list reveals that blueberries must be very popular during the dog days of summer. (Do dogs like blueberries? Hmm...) There are three special days to satisfy your sweet tooth and turn it purple, which begs the question, why are they blueberries and not purpleberries?

July 8: National Blueberry Day
July 10: National Pick Blueberries Day
July 11: National Blueberry Muffins Day

Consequently, July is National Blueberry Month.

Wild blueberries are native to this country and were used by the Indians for many things. They thought they were sacred because of the star-like blossom
end of the fruit. The Great Spirit provided bush after bush heavily laden with the "star berries" to relieve the hunger of their children during famine. As anyone knows, with a plethora of bounty from the garden comes an even greater desire to be creative in its preparation. They mixed them with meat to make pemmican and also combined cornmeal, honey, and water for a pudding called “sautauthig.” Medicinally, the juice made a good cough syrup and when brewed, the leaves made tea believed to fortify the blood. Crushed, they were used as a dye.

When white settlers arrived, they had problems farming with the knowledge they had brought with them. Living off the land may have been a hard concept. Having no knowledge of blueberries, they turned to the Indians who taught them how to use what the land provided, including drying the fruit for use in winter.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that a woman named Elizabeth White, a New Jersey daughter of a cranberry grower, thought to cultivate the little blue fruit. After reading a USDA pamphlet entitled, "Experiments in Blueberry Culture," she decided to contact the author, Dr. Frederick Coville, a botanist who was seeking superior wild plants for breeding. He had already spent four years studying the blueberry and had written nearly 200 papers on their cultivation.

Dear Sir: I recently received from Washington, the report on ‘Experiments in Blueberry Culture,’ which I have read with great interest, and I write to make a suggestion in regard to future experiments. My father, Joseph J. White, is one of the largest cranberry growers in the country, and on his property are considerable areas of land too high for cranberries, but admirably suited to blueberries, judging by the way the wild ones flourish. Very respectfully yours, Miss Elizabeth C. White."

The letter paid off and they joined forces. Their desire was to make them larger, increase their quantity, and enhance their color. Thus, the high bush variety of blueberries was born, as opposed to the low bush that still grows wild today.

In the 21 Century, we use blueberries in many things, including antioxidant drinks, facial masks, and bath bombs. Desserts abound when you Google them. Amongst those is a Colonial recipe I'd like to share with you. 

Blueberry Buckle 
Not knowing what a buckle is, I found this helpful article. It explains the difference between a cobbler, crisp, and Brown Betty, along with several others including the buckle. In my quest for an authentic recipe, I found many that suggest to fold the fruit into the cake batter. But according to the article mentioned above, that is wrong. It could be called a cobbler, but not a buckle.

A true buckle is made by putting the prepared cake mix into the pan and then placing the fruit on top. The fruit sinks into the cake as it’s baked and creates a “buckling” effect. (See what I did there?) So, if your dessert doesn’t buckle, it’s not an authentic Blueberry Buckle. Sometimes a streusel topping is added, which would be my preference.

Here’s a recipe for you to try in this blueberry month of July. And don’t forget the ice cream!

A Bouquet of Brides Romance Collection
Meet seven American women who were named for various flowers but struggle to bloom where God planted them.

--Includes Periwinkle in the Park by Kathleen E. Kovach
A female hiking guide, who is helping to commission a national park, runs into conflict with a mountain man determined to keep the government off his land.

Kathleen E. Kovach is a Christian romance author published traditionally through Barbour Publishing, Inc. as well as indie. Kathleen and her husband Jim raised two sons while living the nomadic lifestyle for over twenty years in the Air Force. Now planted in northeast Colorado she's a grandmother, though much too young for that. Kathleen is a longstanding member of American Christian Fiction Writers. An award-winning author, she presents spiritual truths with a giggle, proving herself as one of God's peculiar people.


  1. I enjoyed your post. Maine is known for its' blueberries...the traditional low bush variety. I found it interesting how the high bush variety began. Who knew you could write over 200 papers with the subject of the teeny little blue berry? Thanks again.

    1. I know, right? I wonder what other fruits and vegetables we take for granted?

  2. I love blueberries. When we lived in Virginia, people from New Jersey said their blueberries were best. Now we live in South Carolina and we hear Georgia blueberries are best. Wherever they come from, I love blueberries. :-)

    1. Sounds like you're living in the wrong place at the wrong time. lol I'm not sure how the blueberry crop is here in Colorado. I imagine they're the smaller variety since we're higher in elevation. I need to frequent our farmers markets more often.

  3. Enjoyed your post. I didn't know July was National Blueberry Month. I notice you said the 11th was Blueberry Muffin Day. I baked blueberry muffins on Wednesday, the 10th - one day off. I had never made them before and they were delicious! (I put a streusel topping on them) We have 3 bushes in our yard and I'm putting lots in our freezer. Your recipe sounds good. I think I will copy and try it out.

    1. I envy you having those bushes. We loved picking them before it got too hard on us in the heat and walking so much. Happy eating.

    2. Janet, my blueberry muffins are my Aunt Betty Crocker's recipe. lol Our family likes the muffins with roast beef. Weird, I know. Something about the sweet and savory hits the palate just right.

  4. We love blueberries and used to go and pick our own every June at a blueberry farm near Houston. We'd come home with several gallons picked to freeze and enjoy the next year. Now in our 80's we can't do that any more. Funny story, when Hurricane Ike hit Houston, we were without power for almost a week. What was my biggest concern? Saving my blueberries! We had a huge ice chest we kept filled with ice just for them and what ever else would fit with them. My family laughed at me, but they still enjoyed the cobblers, cheesecakes, muffins and bread I made later in the year.

    I had no idea about the national days. That's interesting since I just put four pints of blueberries in my freezer. I love using frozen ones on cereal because they make the milk blue and icy cold. I may be a day or so late, but I think I'll go make a batch of blueberry muffins right after this. :)

    1. Ok, your post really made me want blueberries. Where's me nearest farmers market? Hm...