Loyal readers will no doubt remember that I picked blueberries recently at Swift Creek Berry Farm in Chesterfield County.  We ate them up so fast I didn’t have time to freeze any. I did make Stacy’s famous Blueberry Buckle that I will share herewith: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together 1/4 cup butter or the like,   3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg.  Stir in 1/2 cup milk, 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt. Gently fold in 2 cups of washed and dried blueberries.   Plop all that into a greased bundt pan or angel food cake pan and then mix   1/2 cup sugar with  1  1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle that on top and it’s good to go in the oven for 40-45  minutes.  Soon thereafter it’s good to go in your mouth. You can thank me later. This exact recipe won big at some county fair in Washington State.  My niece, Caitlin, got all the glory several years back for that. It’s my turn now.

It was yum as usual though the weird thing about my family these days is that we aren’t eating as much sugary sweet stuff as usual–or at least the other people in the house aren’t–so after a few days with no helpers around to eat it all, I threw away about a third of the the aforementioned buckle. Unprecedented.  That in no way reflects upon the virtues of Blueberry Buckle, by the way, just the virtuousness of the other people in my house. No need to reflect on what it says about me.

Blueberries do make me remember fondly the long gone Boston area department store, Jordan Marsh, that for some unknown reason baked and sold the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever had–as big as a loaf of bread and rolled in sugar to seal the deal.  A cookbook I have includes a recipe purported to be Jordan Marsh’s recipe, but even though the muffins I made were worthy specimens, unless you have a muffin pan with openings as big as my head, those muffins can’t be duplicated. I’m over muffins, though. Muffins are very ’80’s.

Here in the ’10s farmers’ markets are all the rage, and I’ve gone in whole hog this summer, hitting four of Richmond’s many farmers’ markets already. The Saturday South of the James Market is the social center of the universe at Forest Hill Park, jammed with great produce and artists and bakers and good times. Plus I can walk around the newly restored lake below the market to walk off the cookies I inevitably buy there. I can never get chocolate chips to grow in my garden.

From Byrd House Market; I already ate them.

I’m becoming a regular on Tuesday afternoons at Byrd House Market in Oregon Hill now that I’m addicted to blackberries and the best damned tomatoes from Amy’s Garden there. I crave them now.  It’s low key and friendly and an easy in and out.  The Thursday Huguenot-Robious market has little ambience in the parking lot of the Great Big Greenhouse, but if I’m in the neighborhood (not likely these days), it can be worth a stop.

 

I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but lately on Saturdays I’ve forsaken the South of the James market for the closer (and Swift Creek Berry Farm blueberry-offering) Farmers\’ Market at St. Stephen\’s in the Near West End. There isn’t the selection of the Forest Hill Park market, nor do I run into as many friends in the West End, and by friends I might mean bread and cookies and pies, but it’s probably just as well that the offerings are skewed more towards thing that were in or on the ground a day or two before.  I’m enjoying my forays to farmer’s markets so much this summer, it’s become such a chore to go into a real supermarket. Now that’s a misnomer if I’ve ever seen one. It’s the farmers’ markets that are real–and super.

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