Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Florida Food Fest: Blueberry Bounty and Pickle Patience

It' s been a while since I posted a Friday Florida Food Fest, so let's catch up ...

My blueberry harvest is coming on like a runaway Florida East Coast Railway freight train. The crop this year is spectacular and I have been picking a bowl like the one above every day.

Let me tell ya, it's antioxidant heaven around here right now. I'm eating them by the handful and starting every workday with Kashi cereal and my home grown blueberries.

On the weekend, I get crazy ...

... and make my insanely loaded blueberry pancakes.

There's almost a 50/50 berry/batter ratio in most of them. When they are ready to eat, I use almost no syrup due to the berries adding so much flavor, so these pancakes are lower calorie than they would be if they were sans blueberries.
Can't you just smell the phytochemicals emmanating off the griddle?
(NOT fidochemicals ... those are out in the yard and we are scooping them as fast as the puppies are pooping them)

When I do use syrup, you can bet it's good old REAL Yankee maple syrup and not our southern cane syrup ( BLECHHH!).
That's turkey bacon on that plate ... gotta keep my girlish figure.

These two jars are driving us crazy, because we want to open them and try the pickles inside. I made these from the Dinosaur Barbecue cookbook recipe and they should come out tasting of jalapeno,dill, garlic, and a host of other goodies.

We have to wait until Sunday ... the recipe said to keep them in the fridge at least a week.

It's torture seeing them just sitting there behind the milk and orange juice each morning, but we are being strong.

I don't think I should post the actual recipe since these Dino BBQ folks are trying to sell their book and I support that quest as a would be writer. I did post their Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cake once, but it was already online. It could be that this pickle recipe is also, but it doesn't make sense for them to post too many recipes online.

Why buy the cow if you are getting the milk for free?

The book is full of amazing recipes and I would recommend taking a look at it the next time you are in a bookstore.

I'll let you know how the pickles turn out.

On Memorial day, we feasted on grouper fingers, Buffalo wings, collards from the garden, baked beans (with lots of maple syrup cooked in them), and the usual wing veggies.

Mrs. FC made this deep dish apple pie which was served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Tonight, it's a huge pot of black beans with 3 datil peppers floating in the broth. I think all we need to accompany that is some rice and maybe a loaf of good Cuban bread.

... and maybe, since it's Friday, an ice cold Yuengling.

Pupdate: I hesitate to write good news about Gumbo, because we've all been through the ringer with this little pup.

But, you were going to ask anyway right?

Here's the latest: By noon yesterday, the vets had his fever down (IV) and he was frisking about. I picked him up around 5:30 pm and brought his frisky butt home. He spent the afternoon and evening playing with Bear, chasing the chickens, and being a happy sweetheart. That's where we are now this morning too. Just a frisky normal nutcase lab puppy.

The blood work results come in around noon today, so hopefully the vet will have a specific target germ to attack and we can get Gumbo fixed.

Not "fixed" Gumbo, calm down.

Later tho ...


Deb in Florida said...

Great news about Gumbo! I'm hoping the vet has the straight scoop today for cute Gumbo!

The blueberries look awesome! While I have not been successful in growing my own, this time of year I always have a bucket and tennis shoes in my car so I can make a stop if I am fortunate enough to pass a "you pick 'em farm! I love them!

Deb in Florida

Anonymous said...

Oh you southerners! Our berries aren't quite ready yet and I am so jealous. What time did you say breakfast was tomorrow? :)

Hurray for Gumbo (and your vet)!

Deb said...

Nice berries! My blueberries (low bush Northern type) are still recovering from being gnawed down by marauding rabbits last winter.

I hope Gumbo's over it once and for all and can get back to being a puppy!

Doug Taron said...

That all looks so tasty. It will still be weeks before we have blueberries here. I'm just now getting the first of the lettuce and radishes. That's late for us- but then everything has been late this year.

I'm glad to hear that things are going OK for Gumbo.

Mark said...

Good news about Gumbo.

On the other hand, I don't know why you insist on torturing people with pictures and stories about your blueberries. I want you to know I do not believe in them, although I must admit that you are very good with Photoshop. Up here on our mountain, we have ten billion blackberry bushes and enough muscadine vine to reach the moon and back, but no blueberries. And darned few actual berries or grapes, what with the ten million deer.

Hurricane Teen said...

mmm those blueberries look delicious. But I can't believe you don't like cane syrup...shocking!
I'm saying the obvious, but I'm glad Gumbo's doing better and I hope he finally has a chance to recover...same goes for your wallet.

Laura said...

Can you believe I didn't like blueberries when I was growing up?
Egads, I used to turn up my nose at blueberry pancakes.

Thank God, my taste changed ;) What a great crop you have there, it must be a banner year. Do you freeze your berries also?

and great to hear about ol' Gumbo Limbo, I hope he'll continue to fight this off and rebound with a vengeance. What stories he'll have to tell in years to come! ;)

roger said...

good food. good dog. grouper fingers?

robin andrea said...

How did I miss yesterday's minnow post and the news about Gumbo? I think I'm losing days somewhere.

Those blueberries look delicious. How many bushes do you have? That's quite a bounty. The pickles look great too. I'm looking forward to reading how they turned out.

Hope Gumbo is finally on the way to full recovery.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if you advertise for your vet on your blog (let him know how many visits you get) he will wipe out the scary bill that must be building. Worth a try.
How do you stay so slim with all that great food? Must be that ole "portion size" thingy. Envy either your matabolizm or your control. Be well Gumbo.
Arkansas Patti

Anonymous said...

Hey, what variety of blueberry is that? I just read another blueberry/Florida blog this morning and she likes, "Southern Highbush." If I'm going to spend $5.00 a plant, I want only the good ones, not sour tasteless ones like you can buy at the grocery store.

Julie Zickefoose said...

This post makes me fat.

Dude. You are #12 and soaring up on the Nature Blog Network. Did I predict it? We've been waiting for you!

Big hugs but no kisses just yet to the Gumbo. Thanks for the updates. Hang on to that coaster car!

Anonymous said...

I think I just licked the monitor. Accidently, of course.

vicki said...

This post has me missing Florida more than ever- and drooling for lunch. I was back in Michigan for a meeting of the club over the weekend and made a huge pot of black beans- with guess what? Datil peppers! Did them the sloooowww cook way over 12 hours and added some good chicken apple sausage. They had a bite, and they all were eaten- every bite.

Beautiful pie and blueberries. Don't those two go together? Someone needs to make a blueberry pie down there.

I've been keeping a close eye on the gumbo updates- I do hope he's turned the corner once and for all- he's a lovely little guy.

Anonymous said...

Wow-that's torture just seeing those pancakes and if I'm not mistaken they're sittin' pretty on a pfaltzgraff plate. Sound very promising for Gumbo-fingers crossed!

Cathy S. said...

Oh, please please post before 5! We are leaving on vacation and going somewhere where I will have no Internet or cell (somewhere cool and lovely near you where I will sit in a tube and let my brain turn to mush for a week). But, I can't wait to see how our limbo boy is doing! I may have to make a visit to Starbucks and treat myself to some WiFi. That is if I decide to put on shoes.

threecollie said...

Blueberries, pie, pickles, oh dear....what a tempting array.
Glad the pup is doing well...

kathy a. said...

the food all looks delish! and you have a good crop of blueberries there.

i'm more of a cat person [don't tell the dogs! they adore me just because i feed them] but we are all pulling for gumbo.

particular good wishes from The Duke of Earl, my cat who was blinded by infection as a baby [but has not figured out he is disabled, and is the most loving, and dog-loving, cat on earth], and Spot, a feral former foster kittie whose increasing gimpiness does not slow him down much -- he just thumps more than most cats.

Anonymous said...

Jealous, jealous, jealous...especially of the blueberries and grouper fingers, at least I have some good maple syrup from up home near Lake Champlain, NY.
Hang in there, Small Dog.
Caroline in South Dakota

Floridacracker said...

Deb in FL,
I love them too. They are really easy to grow, you might give it a try again.

I'll probably be up around 5:30 am. Then, I'll think of something to write, post it, and have some breakfast ... about 6:30 probably.

These blueberries are the one crop the deer never bother and rabbits aren't much of a problem here. I guess because we are green all year round.

I won't be able to plant lettuce again until the fall.
All hot weather crops now.

Blackberries are pretty amazing tho!
Have you ever planted blueberries?

I know it's blasphemy, but I can't stand the stuff.

Having abundant fresh ones is such a luxury that I try and use them all fresh while the abundance lasts.

grouper = a large white fleshed marine fish. thick filets are often cut into strips "fingers" to ensure they cook all the way through.
very tasty.

Me too on the pickle thing. 2 more days!!

Ark Patti,
Welcome to Pure Florida!
I work it off and practice some self discipline ... no fries, no soda, and yes ... portion control on most things.
As for Gumbo, a fearsome bill, trust me.
Thanks for commenting!

Thank you for having faith in me. Now I really have to hustle. Sorry for the high calorie post :)

Mine are mixed varieties of high bush ... Climax, Becky Blue, Sapphire, Tiffblue. I never know which bush is which tho.
$5 bucks is worth it for the years of BB you will get. Don't let them set blossoms the first year.

We miss you on the blogosphere!
I'm glad you have datils to spice up your life :)
Hurry back.

Yup, the Napoli pattern. I didn't mean to torture anyone, but they were pretty good.

Cathy S,
Sounds like you are somewhere over the Rainbow.

Maybe I should have published a caloric content warning! Small dog is at my feet and doing well.

Kathy A,
I bet your cats are totally spoiled. I just get this feeling ...

There is no syrup like real maple.

crackercowlady said...

Hey, FC...You're no "would be" writer... You are indeed an excellent writer with lots of followers! Keep up the great work as Writer, Nature Lover. Animal Caregiver, Cook, Teacher, Pond Builder, Photographer,... The list goes on... So glad about Gumbo's
progress and hope it continues. Barb

SophieMae said...

Poor Gumbo... not even completely fixed yet (or is he??? hopefully!!!) and you're already thinking about f-i-x-i-n-g.

That;s some GOOOOOOD-lookin' grub! Gotta find me some grouper. Mmmmm!!! Our blueberries are slow coming in. Reckon I'd better get out there and check on them. I've neglected that this week. Hope the birds haven't cleaned us out.

Sandcastle Momma said...

Your blueberries are incredible. I have to fight the birds for mine and the birds always seem to get more than I do. Many more posts of food that looks so good and we're coming for dinner LOL

Polly said...

I just found your blog while researching a post for my own blog ( See, my sister and I, who grew up in Mandarin, Florida, were reminiscing about the olden days. I was remembering the mosquito fogger trucks and how no one really cared if we were breathing that stuff in or not. That's how I found your 2006 post. Then I snooped around a little more and have enjoyed what I read. I'm now in NC but still appreciate my Florida roots. Enjoy!

Rurality said...

Dude! My internets have been out so I've missed all the drama with your free (heh) puppy. Glad to hear he's on the mend.

Dr. Know said...

Great blueberry haul. There are five bushes here, but the birds wait until they're just right and get all the berries. Lucky to get a handful. Well wishes for the animal farm.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks for the kind words. Means a lot coming from a real author.Gumbo is doing great!

I know the cardinals are getting their share, but I seem to have plenty to go around! Hope you get the grouper!

Marinated chuck roasts on the grill at around 5:00pm. Bring dessert.

Welcome to Pure Florida!
That early infusion of DDT may be responsible for some of the silliness that occurs here at PF.
Glad you dropped by!

I know! I've been checking daily!! Glad you are repaired!

I must have about a dozen bushes now and I'm adding more. That way both the birds and me eat.