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Blueberry Heaven

Blueberry Heaven

Paula's in Blueberry Heaven!

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.

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Reader Comments:

 

I am soo excited to have found Paula’s website!!! I am looking forward to checking it out everyday!!
I am a diabetic, and am wondering if she has any scrumptous dishes that I can partake in?? Like her Blueberry Muffins, in today’s info, can it be made for a diabetic?
Any info is welcomed and appreciated!!!

Rita M Arce of Freer, TX on June 07, 2010 04:54 PM

I think it is good to see that you have so many blueberries Paula, and are able to make many things with those wonderful blueberries. I love them and sometimes run out of ideas on what to make with them. I wish I was there with you in the blueberry patch Paula.

Sandra of Toronto, Canada on June 08, 2010 12:24 PM

I also beleive that Berries of all kinds are especically better for diabetics as well. Before my mom passed away recently, she always said to me that they had the lower amount of sugar and were better to eat.  now I never thought of a blueberry shortcake - but you know I am going to try that…...Love ya you are the best, wish I could spend a day with you - you are so much like my mom and have the same family values that you make me cry sometimes with joy

Mary-Ellen Niessing of Long Island, NY on June 08, 2010 01:42 PM

My father loves blueberries also. For his birthday one year he wanted a blueberry cake, so that is what he got blueberry cake (which was blue)and blue berry icing (which was blue) looked more like a baby blue, also looked funny but it sure was good, and of course Dad loved it , so did Mom and the rest of the family. LOVE YA PAULA!!

hilda huser of Tuscola, ill on June 08, 2010 01:43 PM

Paula,
I love blueberries too, especially in cobbler, yummy for my tummy/not so much for my waistline, lol. I have them every morning in a shake. I mix 5oz skim milk, 5oz pomegrante juice, 5oz blueberries, and 2 heaping TBS Greek Yogurt/Honey flavored in a blender and blend. I drink this with any number of different breakfast sandwiches and I’m good to go for hours.
I love watching your cooking shows and making your reciepes. I was also privliged enough to be at your show when you were here in Louisville at The Palace a couple of years ago, my husband (to be at that time) surprised me by taking me - I bought one of your T-shirts and a coffe mug while I was there but the memory of being in the same room with you will always live in my heart.
Thanks for all you do Paula - especially with the blueberries.
Debi

Debi Osborn of Louisville, KY on June 08, 2010 01:59 PM

Hi, Paula, I must share my story about my Grandma’s Blueberry Cake. I was one of the youngest of the grandchildren and don’t have too many memories of my grandmother in Jacksonville, FL. But what memories I have about her are things she used to cook. One of those was her blueberry cake. She would cover the bottom of a sheet cake pan with fresh blueberries and then cover the berries with a 1-2-3-4 cake batter. When the cake was done, she would turn it out so that the blueberries were then the top of the cake. She would serve it cut in squares and topped with a spoonful of sour cream sweetened with sugar. It is absolutely delicious and a real taste of summer!

Debbie Crews of Friendswood, TX on June 08, 2010 02:18 PM

Paula, I love watching your cook shows with you and your sons. We have lots of blueberry farms here Nacogdoches. State Blueberry Festival this week end.  I make blueberry jam and use Splendra for my husband.  You can put the jam in between cake layers and it is so good.

Lillian York of Nacogdoches, Texas on June 08, 2010 03:24 PM

Around here we are privileged to get Maine blueberries, which are small, juicy and delicious. My grandparents lived in Abington, MA and there were wild blueberry bushes right across the street from their home. My grandmother would send us out with little buckets to pick them; but the buckets never seemed to get filled. We ate while picking. Those were the days. I too love fruit cobblers and my favorites are blueberry, apricot and peach. Yum. I also have a great blueberry coffee cake recipe that everyone just loves. Especially when I make it for coffee hour at church. I enjoy your shows very much. God bless you and your family.

Ellen Yoerger of Quincy, Massachusetts on June 08, 2010 03:38 PM

Hi Paula,  I know how much you enjoy spending time with Jack.  I feel the same way about my grandson Avery.  We love to get in the kitchen and cook together and the last thing we made were your wonderful blueberry dumplings.  In fact, your recipes are always among our favorites.  So happy cooking from me and my grandson to you and yours.

Martha Collins of Muncie, In on June 08, 2010 03:48 PM

i love blueberries to death but when a good friend of mothers look at me and said if i said blueberry again i will look like one she use to pick blueberries 12hours a day at the farm she worked at so when i want something with the word blue or berry in it i keep it to myself
                      a fan of you n your family cooking a great meal for me on day at lady n sons             wayne leon simmons

wayne l simmons of centreville michigan on June 08, 2010 04:37 PM

Paula! Winter Haven was my stomping ground for years. We live not far from there now. What a small world! Did your grandparents sectionize oranges? We are citrus country down here. Also Plant City, Fl is known for their strawberries. I used to take my kids and go pick strawberries when they were little. It’s fun, until it takes it’s toll on your back. I’m sure your Grandparents are proud that you are eating healthy. I just love Blueberries! Your picture of yourself with the blueberries is just darling! Thanks for the recipes! Hugs~

Linda of Lake Wales, Fl on June 08, 2010 07:06 PM

Hey, Paula:
I have fruits in my roots, too!  My mother grew up in Winter Haven, FL and my grandmother also worked in a fruit canning factory where she was a “sectionizer” meaning she peeled and sectioned oranges (supreming).  My grandparents also ran a 6-room motel and fruitstand on Cypress Gardens Road in the 1950’s and 1960’s and sold citrus and shipped fruit to customers out of state.  Small world!

Allyson Orum of Brentwood, TN on June 08, 2010 11:03 PM

As you know Paula,  Winter Haven Florida is just a skip away from Plant City. When my Mama was a young girl she also working in a fruit plant(packing plant) in the same area who know maybe my Mama and your grandparent work along side of each other wouldn’t that be something but I remember the stories she would tell me oh how I love them stories she gone now a year this month (June 6th) but I wouldn’t trade them memories for nothing. Thanks Paula for this newsletter I love hearing the stories about you and Family.

Brenda Thomas of Plant City, Florida on June 09, 2010 01:03 AM

HI PAULA,
EVEN THOUGHT I WORK FROM 7P TO 7A 5 NIGHTS A WEEK, I ALWAYS TAKE TIME TO WATCH YOUR SHOW.  EVEN IF IT MEANS LOOSING SLEEP!  I WORK IN A HOSPITAL AS A SECRETARY AND WE LOVE TO EAT!  I AM ALWAYS LOOKING FOR NEW RECIPIES AND IDEAS TO FEED THE NIGHT CREW!
YOUR PERSONAL SUCCESS STORY IS INSPIRING AND I HOPE THAT ONE DAY WILL BE ABLE TO MEET YOU. IN 2002 I LOST MY SISTER AND MY MOTHER WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ONE ANOTHER.  I USUALLY CALLED ONE OF THEM WHEN I HAD A COOKING QUESTION BUT NOW THAT THEY ARE GONE, I DEPEND ON THE KNOWLEDGE YOU SHARE ON YOUR SHOW. 
GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL YOU DO AND FOR ALWAYS SMILING!
JEANETTA KEENER HUMBLE, TX

JEANETTA KEENER of HUMBLE, TX on June 09, 2010 02:35 AM

Hi Paula. I love blueberries and have them on cereal a lot. I love watching your show and have tried many of the recipes. Yum!! We lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan for awhile and did a lot of fruit picking there. When we went blueberry picking our kids cut down the amount of what we brought back substanially eating as they went. But what FUN!!

Carol Erickson of Wentzville, Missouri on June 09, 2010 06:49 AM

I always throw some blueberries in when making peach cobbler.  It’s a wonderful combination!

Mary Sandra Taylor of Laurinburg, NC on June 09, 2010 09:08 AM

Paula I too worked in a grapefruit packing plant in Bartow Fl for my first job and one of the hardest jobs, but I was so proud of myself at the age of 17. I had a real job and we were paid by piecework and that is when I learned I could move my hands a lot faster than I thought. My husband is totally in love with you and we are getting ready to spend the week-end in Savannah at your resturant.

Gwen Edenfield of Palatka Florida on June 09, 2010 09:59 AM

Hi Paula,
I grew up surrounded by a family of southerners.  Now I am a military spouse which separates me from them.  This past year I found you and was hooked because you remind me soo much of my MawMaw (who I grew up very close to).  She taught me how to cook and she looks a tremendous mount like you.  Today, when I read about your grandparents I smiled…no wonder I love you!  I grew up in Winter Haven, Florida and my grandma worked in a fruit plant..coincidence?  I think not.
Love you girl!

Chrissy Wetzel of Arizona on June 09, 2010 02:29 PM

I love watching you and your sons cook.  That is togetherness, love, caring, family values.  Keep up the good cook with all the things you do.  If I ever get to Savannah I would love to meet you and your sons. You and I are about the same age, maybe a year or two. You cook like my mom and aunt Mamie used to.  They are both deceased, but the memories live on.

Pat

pat of san antonio, tx on June 10, 2010 05:27 PM

Hi Paula - I LOVE blueberry cobbler too and can’t wait to try your recipe!

Kelli of Florida on June 11, 2010 07:26 AM

Hey Paula, sure happy to find your web sight. I have been useing fruits in many of my sauces, but never tried blueberries. After talking with a few of my friends, a blueberry sauce mixed in with a blend of my BBQ sauce tasted sssooooo good I am going to try it with a main meat dish. I now use some fruit sauces for making different chili dishes and what a change of flavor. MMMMMMMgood

Bill Martineau of Lowell, MA on June 11, 2010 08:41 PM

Hello Paula,
Your eyes are as blue as those berries! This is a great article full of great memories. I remember taking my three boys blueberry pickin’ with the little buckets tied around their necks. It was always great fun. They are all grown up now, but love it when I am baking blueberry goodies. I compete every year in our County Farm Fair. To win the Grand Prize Silver Bowl, the recipe has to be blueberry oriented. I have won several first, many second and third places. But that Silver Bowl keeps escaping me, maybe this year!! Close yet so far! I just love you Paula, I always have. We have a lot in common, loving our sons, marrying again later in life, a stepdaughter and stepson, our love of our puppies, losing our daddy’s when we were young, show our family love with our cooking.I am starting a small drop off catering business, and guess what the specialty is, yep, sandwiches, salads and my baked goods! My love to you Paula, I know if we me, we would be quick friends. Reading you book convinced me of that, it was my reading material while I under went Chemotherapy almost two years ago, I am recovered and strong. You were with me every week!
Again, my love to you and I too have been known to “cuss like a cowboy”. Kisses and Hugs, Patti

Patti Rahilly Jones of Wrightstown NJ on June 17, 2010 01:25 PM

A message to Rita Arce of Freer, Texas.
I love Paula’s show, cookbooks, website - everything.  I recently had gastric bypass surgery and cannot eat sugar.  After the surgery my diabetes were gone, but I still can’t eat sugar and I want to send a message to Rita M. Arce of Freer, Texas.  You can use recipes that call for sugar, but use a substitute sugar called Steel’s Nature Sweet Crystals, Nature Sweet Powder, and Nature Sweet Brown Crystals.  You can go online at http://www.steelsgourmet.com and order the sugar, they have sugar crystals, powdered sugar and brown sugar.  You use it cup for cup.  It is absolutely the best sugar substitute to use in cooking.  It isn’t great for use in tea and items that are not cooked, but try it in your sweet desert receipes.  For instance in Paula’s latest magazine (Paula Deen’s Best Dishes), she has a recipe for Punch Bowl Cake.  I made a pound cake with this sugar and have made the coconut pudding from scratch with this sugar.  I used both in the recipe and it was wonderful. I also used sugar free whipped topping.  I encourage her to try the sugar in any recipe that calls for cooking with sugar.  Hope this helps you because it has made my life so much better.  You can’t tell it is not real sugar.  Everyone that has tried it has been amazed at how great this sugar substitute tastes.

Darrell Lynn Pray of Kingsville, Texas on July 02, 2010 05:56 PM

hi Paula, I just wanted to thank you for all your wonderful recipies and always happy disposition! You are a joy to watch, and make everyone feel like you’ve been friends forever! Keep up the great work!!

Linda of Beautiful British Columbia on August 10, 2010 05:15 PM

Paula,
Thank you for being you.  You always put a smile on my face. I started watching you 7 years ago when I was recovering from gallbladder surgery and boy did I get hooked.  I’ve got your cookbooks and cook so many of your receipes.  I’m also a blueberry eater and waiting for my mirror to show me that, yes, I’m getting younger. You’re the best!

Marilyn B. Smtih of Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 08, 2010 07:31 PM

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