Saturday, July 17, 2010
The markets these days are over-run with berries, especially strawberries and blueberries. Singapore doesn't grow too many fruits and vegetables, leave alone berries; being a land scarce country, most of the food that is consumed here has to be imported.
Consequently, though the markets here have a wide variety food from all over the world throughout the year, some of it does cost quite a bit.
Take, for example, my favourite berries - blueberries. Most of the times, a small packet of blueberries weighing just 125 gms costs around $4.
So, sometimes, when they are available for around $2, it sounds like a real steal. That is when I go and buy several packets and hoard them - by freezing them.
To freeze blueberries (and any other berry), first wash them in water. Gently pat them dry with a kitchen towel. I also let the berries 'air dry' for about an hour. Then, transfer them onto a plate in a single layer - ensure that you don't overcrowd the berries - and then freeze them for 24 hrs in the freezer. (Freezing them in a single layer ensures 2 things - one, the berries get evenly frozen and two, they don't stick to one another).
Then transfer them into re-sealable bags; get as much air out of the bags as possible.
Berries frozen this way can be used for upto 3 months - I am not quite sure if they last longer, I am sure they do but mine got used up and so 3 months is the longest that I can vouch for.
This - the tips on how to freeze berries - is my entry to Jaya's Back to Basics event.
Pancakes don't feature very regularly on our breakfast menu, but are such a welcome change every once in a while. Having frozen blueberries on hand means that I can quickly whip up some blueberry pancakes.
The recipe here is the one I found on the Dairy Farmer's Buttermilk carton; I've tweaked it just a tad bit.
(makes 8 pancakes)
Self raising flour - 3/4 cup
Whole wheat pastry flour - 3/4 cup
Salt - a pinch
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Caster sugar - 2 tbsps
Buttermilk - 1.5 cups
Egg - 1, lightly beaten
Lemon rind - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp + some more for greasing the pan
(Frozen) Blueberries - 1 cup
Sift together the flours, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Stir in the caster sugar. Then pour in the liquid ingredients - egg, buttermilk and oil - and beat well to get a smooth batter.
Add the blueberries and the lemon rind and stir to combine. Let the batter stand for 10 minutes.
Pour a couple of ladles of the pancake batter on a greased and heated non stick frying pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the top surface is dotted with bubbles. Flip over and cook for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!