My husband and I have a variety of shared interests and hobbies, one of which is cooking. However, on a typical day it is difficult for both of us to be able to work on a meal together. Between work demands and parenting responsibilities, it seems that one of us is busy when it’s time to prepare food. So, when we do have time to cook together, we enjoy it thoroughly.
A couple weeks ago we had an entire Sunday to ourselves. With minimal work obligations and zero parenting responsibilities, we were ready for a day of culinary adventure. Our plan: blueberry picking, shopping at our favorite butcher/cheese shop, cooking. Included in our list of items to make were blueberry simple syrup, blueberry freezer jam, peach salsa, ketchup, and dried pepper powder.
Thankfully, the weather cooperated with our plan. It was neither raining nor unbearably hot, making it the perfect time to pick. With a full to-do list ahead of us, we were among the blueberry bushes by 7:30 and within half an hour had plenty of blueberries for syrup, jam, and freezing. A couple hours were spent grocery shopping and stocking our freezer and cheese bin, and then it was time for our culinary artistry.
As the recipes had varying degrees of difficulty, we worked not only together but also on multiple recipes at the same time. With all of this cooking, the kitchen was a fabulous combination of scents and tastes. We wisely made the salsa and syrup early in the day. That allowed for a delicious mid-afternoon snack of chips and salsa and a cocktail.
If you will be making this blueberry simple syrup, it is important to note that although it’s simple, you will have to wait a decent amount of time for it to cool. Other than that, it’s a quick boil, a bit of time simmering, and you have a sweet and flavorful syrup. I don’t think it is thick enough to use on pancakes, but it has many other uses. Combine it with a little seltzer water for an Italian soda. For adults, combine it with mint, rum, and seltzer, and you have a fabulous blueberry mojito (pictured below). I haven’t tried using it in any food items yet, but if you have a suggestion, please leave a comment.
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups blueberries
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepot. Simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Add blueberries, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavor to infuse. Cool. Strain through cheesecloth into a storage container. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, and then it’s ready for use.