Snow is swirling outside as I write. This time of year always feels so bleak, like spring will never return.
One of my favorite ways of enduring these types of days is with baking. What a treat it is to have fruit from my own garden in the freezer!
Having things harvested from my own garden brightens the dreary days of winter. If I close my eyes, I can be transported to the warm days of the growing season. Yes, I remember how I complain when the summer reaches its peak, but for this moment I can focus on the contrast of winter and summer, and how one complements the other. Blueberry bushes can’t grow without a certain number of “chill hours,” and blueberries can’t ripen without the warm summer sun. I can also be thankful that they freeze so well to be kept on hand for such a moment as this.
Today I reached for some blueberries and an old handwritten recipe from my husband’s grandmother.
I couldn’t wait for the muffins to cool. Breaking one open, letting the steam and the juice of the berries escape. A generous pat of butter was all it needed. Well, that and a glass of milk.
When I’m out tending my plants this summer, I’ll remember this moment. This simple pleasure was made possible by the fore-thought to plant the berry bushes, and the work of lovingly tending them all of these years. It’s hard to beat the ability to enjoy the fruits of your summer labors in the dead of winter.