I hate to sound cliche but a summer vacation in Maine wouldn’t be complete without blueberries. That said, I didn’t get sucked into cliche cooking by making blueberry pies or tarts or muffins. Oh my no! I get so bored with the same old berry recipes. There may be nothing quite like a blueberry pie, but there’s a lot to be said for using these little gems in a new way.
There’s a great little co-op up in Blue Hill, Maine called, appropriately enough, the Blue Hill Co-op Community Market & Cafe. During my stay, I drifted back and forth between this co-op and all the local farmers markets. I’d get an idea for a dish from the area farmers and then fill in with products from the co-op to jazz it up. I returned home to our sweet cottage with lots of new items, including a nice, thick slab of Italian gorgonzola.
I’m an early riser on vacation and when you rise with the sun, you need lots of coffee and sustenance to make it through to 11 am. Each morning, I indulged in a European continental breakfast – except for that blueberry pancake morning – laying out plates of meats, cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, preserves and toasted breads. One morning, we decided to spread some grilled bread with that creamy, tangy gorgonzola and top it with ripe, sliced fruit. Peaches and gorgonzola were a lovely pair, but with buckets of blueberries towering over in our fridge, I had to give it a shot. In short, it worked!
In fact, it was so beautiful I convinced myself to preserve that taste well beyond our short time in Maine. With pectin in hand, I boiled and jarred some local blueberry jam for my cupboards. This winter, I can’t wait for that moment when I fork into a gorgonzola and blueberry jam tart or bite into a grilled gorgonzola and blueberry jam sandwich, sprinkled with powdered sugar. The taste will most certainly warm me through what’s certain to be a chilly, long New England winter.