Berries, Recipes and Reunions
It wasn’t our first time to Thunderbird Berry Farm, but it was our first time to be there when the blueberries were ripe. The last time we went, it was before the season even started and we got gobs of gorgeous strawberries.
We have been so spoiled this year with a cool Spring and a slow coming Summer. Normally, we would want to get out to the farm by 7:00 AM to make sure and beat the heat, but we went around 9:00 AM last week and it was still nice and cool (for July in Oklahoma anyway).
When we grabbed our buckets we were reminded to pick only the bluest of the blueberries, not the green or red ones. There were lots of bushes with perfectly ripe blueberries that practically fell off in our hands!
We teamed up with my best friend and her daughter, Evie, who was a very eager helper!
Word to the wise: Thunderbird accepts cash and checks, no cards. Sadly, Megan and I both forgot our checkbooks and failed to stop for cash on the way. Lucky for us there is a third option of picking shares! You can fill three buckets and Thunderbird keeps two and you keep one. Or, if your littles’ fingers get tired of picking or you have a meltdown (which we were on the verge of) and need to call it quits early, you can just keep a third of whatever you pick. Trust me, you’ll probably still have plenty. Megan and I split the third of berries picked by the six of us, and I had enough for three different recipes and still have blueberries leftover that I sprinkle on cereal and salads! I’ve included a favorite recipe below!
The funnest (is that a word?) part of the whole trip was unexpectedly reuniting with some old friends. The farm is owned by the family of one of my high school friends that Megan and I went to church with. Lo and behold, two other youth group friends were picking berries that day too! I’m pretty sure it’s been at least a decade since the five of us were all together, so we simply had to snap a pic. Please disregard my scrubby summer outfit. From left to right: Dee Dee, Missy, Me, Megan, and Bree and some of our various children.
Here is the recipe I promised:
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar (I actually just used the white sugar and it was plenty sweet)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 5 drops CPTG Lemon Essential Oil
- nonstick cooking spray, for pan
- confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of sour cream.
- In a bowl, toss blueberries, lemon zest and lemon essential oil with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray. Spread batter in prepared pan.
- Bake cake on bottom rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving, if desired.
I hope you love this cake. It is delicious, especially with vanilla ice cream! If you’ve never cooked with essential oils before, I highly recommend it! They are amazing flavor enhancers. Who needs MSG when you have nature?! Please only use Certified Pure Theraputic Grade essential oils that have dietary supplement facts on the bottle for internal consumption. Aromatherapy oils are generally not safe for consumption.
Go get yourself some fresh berries and enjoy a yummy recipe! What are your favorite berry recipes?
See you around town!