Blueberry picking is a piece of cake. Unlike the blackberry bush with it's tangled vines with vicious claws, the blueberry bush is practically asking to be picked. The bushes I picked were heavy with berries that were be shaken easily into a bucket, and another bucket, and another. There were about six bushes in front of Kate's old house, and we were free to pick them clean.
I have a lot of jams and jellies and conserves and sweet fruit preserves, so much that I am going to have to eat toast every day this winter, and give most of it away. On my canning shelf there is a distinct lack of the savory, so what to do when I picked all these blueberries?
About a month ago I made plum chutney from a tree at the end of my street, but the plums were so small it only made four jars between two people. It was delicious, though, and I have since used almost a whole pint jar on various meals. Chutney is like jelly for dinner. On quinoa, rice, last night we ate it on thai green curry. So... we split them up and Kate made a batch of Blueberry Huckleberry Jam, and I made Blueberry Chutney (modified from this recipe):
8 c blueberries
2 red onions, sliced up
3 c red wine vinegar
1 c raisins
5 dehydrated pineapple rings, chopped
3 tbs candied ginger, chopped
4 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp chili flakes
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Filled three 12 oz, four 8 oz, and two 4 oz jars
(we put them in all different sizes for various gifts and to swap with other canners)
The recipe called for golden raisins, which they only have at the East Side Co-op (to my consistent disappointment--I love golden raisins, they are the butter of the dried fruit family), but I looked around in the bulk section and decided on these smaller red raisins and some dehydrated pineapple instead. It worked well enough. I might use more pineapple next time.
So, washed and hulled all the blueberries, threw them in a big old pot with all the other ingredients and let it boil.
Cooked it until it thickened and my whole house smelled like sweet sweet vinegar. It was a surprisingly deep purple color. Blackberries always end up being quite a dark red when cooked, but blueberries seem to actually have blue in them.
Poured the boiling mixture into sterilized jars and waterbathed them for 15 minutes.
So far, I ate it this morning on leftover curry...pretty good. Extremely vinegary, and I might put more of almost every ingredient except blueberries in it, especially ginger and mustard seeds. Still, I'm happy to have it.