Saturday, June 28, 2014

All Things Blue

Blue is known as a cool color, perfect for June and the beginning of summer heat. It's blueberry month in our part of the world and I love having the opportunity to gobble up handfuls at a time without paying grocery store prices. Last week my friend and I picked over 10 pounds each in a couple of hours, and with blue teeth and smiling faces we paid just $2 per pound!!  Now that's a way to stock your freezer!

I have collected many blueberry recipes over the years and each year have a new favorite. Since I'm trying a gluten free diet of course there's a new cobbler recipe. You will find it at the bottom of this blog post.  Trust me, no one will even guess it's gluten free.
With blueberries on my mind I was thinking of everything blue that brightens up the grounds here at Holly Hill Homestead. Take a peak at a few corners of our world.

Try a Strawberry/Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry bushes can be used as landscape plants. Did you ever think about edible plantings for your yard? Why water only grass when it's easy to increase your food supply with peaches, plums, apples or cherries?

A simple inexpensive bird bath tucked in an iris bed. Maybe Mr. Toad or a butterfly will take a drink.

Blue hydrangeas add such romance to the gardens. Most years I forget to add lime that will make them pink but one year there were blue, lavender, and pink blooms all on one plant. I used both lime and coffee grounds.

Metal momma bluebird feeding her babies in whirly-gig fashion.
A friend gifted me with my first ever bottle tree. Right now it's at home by the chicken coop.

Lots of color has not been my garden style but with the vintage look being so popular it's been fun to slowly add items to the yard.  Blue really looks amazing with green foliage.  Wouldn't it be fun to build an all blue and white garden?

Most every day there is something new blooming in the Holly Hill Homestead gardens.  Who can resist cutting fresh blooms to enjoy inside.  Just before these hydrangea wilt they will be hung upside down to dry.
A word on drying hydrangea: Wait until the weather heats up around the first of July or so.  At this time there is less moisture in the plant and the blooms have begun to lose their moisture as well.  This is when I have the best luck in drying them inside.  Simply cut and hang upside down. Touch up with spray pain when they begin to lose color.

Keep June cool, keep it happy with pretty blue.

The promised "Gluten Free Blueberry Cobbler" recipe follows.

1/2 c. pecans, chop in food processor - then add:
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. oat flour
1/2 c. white rice flour
5 T. cold butter and 2 T light olive oil
Pulse to process until butter is in fine pieces.  Press about half the crumbs in the bottom of a 9X9 inch baking pan, use just enough to make a thin crust.  Reserve the rest of the crumbs.
Bake crust at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until barely brown.
Meanwhile mix together:
3/4 c. sugar
3 beaten eggs
3/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. gluten free baking mix (or use regular flour and 1/2 t. baking powder)
1/2 t. salt
3 c. blueberries (or use half strawberries, yummy)
1 t. vanilla
Pour over hot crust.
Mix together remaining crumbs and 1/4 c. brown sugar and 1/4 c. oatmeal.
Sprinkle over filling and bake at 350 degrees about 40-45 minutes or until set and not jiggly.

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