Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Currant and blueberry picking

So this past weekend I continued with the one of my favorite summer activities - picking my own produce at a local farm. Besides knowing where your food is coming from and extending the support to a local farm, it is a great opportunity to pick hard to find produce. In the case of last Sunday, the hunt was on for the currants and the blueberries.

I went with Jean and the kids to Winney's farm in Beacon Hill, a small hamlet of Schuylerville (Saratoga County). They are the largest blueberry farm in the area and have lots of varieties, which means the picking season is way longer than at other local places. But most importantly, they have a TON of red and black currants. If it wouldn't be for the rain we have been getting, it would probably be too late to pick the currants (usually July 15th is a cut-off) - but not on sunday. Lot's of ripe and juicy currants. YUMMY!!! I was very happy to notice other folks picking the currants because most of them typically don't get picked. I suppose only so many Russians will drive out there (note: it is an easy 40 min drive at the most from southern Clifton Park).

Anyways, I got lots of currants, and then we got some blueberries. Also due to the rain, the berries were lagging behind in ripeness but there's was plenty. There should be a ton in a couple of weeks when i would be able to go back.

The cost is a very reasonable $2.25/lb. I got 8 lbs! Unfortunately they don't take plastic so come armed with cash or check.

Of course I will enjoy lots of fresh berries but the most of it will be frozen for use in baking later. Currants are fantastic in pies, bread puddings, with a leg of lamb (have to make a sauce), I had made clafoutis with the currants before and the custard was fantastic.

I love tart things, so for me, eating fresh currants by the handful is the way to go. They do taste delicious when paired with melons and other "mild" tasting fruit. Sour cream-berry combo is great too, but alas, not too weight-watcher friendly :)

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