by Paula Deen
I’ve got fruit in my roots. Y’all may not know this, but my grandmother and granddaddy worked on an assembly line at a fruit plant in Winter Haven, Florida, peeling and cutting fruit day in and day out. I can’t imagine the hardworking hours they passed in that plant. I suppose they got so they couldn’t look an orange in the eye without feeling them fingers achin’ to peel it. I certainly run myself ragged tending to my business, but when I feel like complaining, I think of grandmother and granddaddy making a hard living so that folks can enjoy sinking their teeth into the fruits of their labor.
Times sure have changed. I wonder what my grandparents would think of me driving out to a local farm to pick blueberries not because I have to, but because I want to. My grandbaby Jack and I can strip a blueberry bush like it’s nobody’s business; I get the berries up top, and he tends to those down low—past where my back is willing to bend. But that’s gonna change. You see, they say that blueberries are really so good for you and that all the antioxidants slow down the aging process. I figure that if I eat some everyday, I’ll be squatting alongside Jack in no time, pluckin’ the biggest berries of the bunch. This past week I’ve had a handful of blueberries everyday and, oh my goodness, I feel myself getting younger y’all!
But honestly, even if they aren’t gonna turn back the clock as far as I’d like, blueberries are the best kind of berries around when it comes to cooking. They burst with flavor and give foods a gorgeous color. From short cake to pancakes, blueberries can go just about anywhere. And I’ll let you in on a little-known secret: I just adore blueberry cobbler, y’all. I know those may be fightin’ words down here in the land of peaches, but before you get your feathers all ruffled, you need to try my recipe. I make it just like my Peach Cobbler, except I substitute blueberries for the peaches! Topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, this cobbler will have you believin’ that you’ve died and gone to blueberry heaven; it’s where I intend to spend most of my time this blueberry season, and I’d like to invite you to come along with me.