Blueberries for Sal and butterfly pancakes

picking blueberries at the Benson Place, which reminds me of Blueberries for Sal; dreaming of blueberry pancakes, blueberry jam, blueberry sauceI grew up with wild blueberries in our yard and the woods behind it. For years, though I’ve picked large, cultivate berries at PYO places. I love those too, but the tiny, flavorful wild berries still had a place in my heart. Now they have a place in my freezer too, thanks to the Benson Place.

I went last year for the first time, turning off Route 2 into an upward maze of paved and dirt roads. As we were led to our picking spot, I thought, “It’s Blueberries for Sal.” The hilltop landscape covered with the low scrubby bushes certainly fit, but instead of tin pails we had wooden boxes, and instead of picking by hand, we used rakes to comb through the bushes and collect the berries.

This year, the bushes were heavily laden and we quickly picked two boxes (usually about 20 lbs each, but we were ambitious and piled on a few extra pounds). After picking, you bring your boxes of berries back to the sorting shed where the sorter gets out leaves, weeds, and other debris that got scooped up in your rake. The berries roll out on a conveyor belt so you can pick out any green berries, mushy berries, or stems.

My big box yielded  9 frozen quarts of berries, a batch each of raspberry-blueberry jam, blueberry jam (favorite of my dad and my big girl), and blueberry-maple sauce (for pancakes or ice cream). I’ve got quart containers set aside for more jamming, a blueberry pie, and just snacking.

This morning, I used three cups in a big batch of butterfly pancakes. Like wild blueberries, butterfly pancakes are linked to my childhood.. My mom used to make them for us. She used bacon for the antennae. I would have too, but I was out of bacon.

Butterfly PancakesBlueberry pancake wings, sausage body, and sliced peach antennae

pancake batter
bacon or sliced fruit

  1. Start cooking your sausage or bacon (if using it).
  2. Mix up a batch of your favorite pancake batter. (I use the griddle cake recipe in the Fanny Farmer cookbook).
  3. Heat your griddle or skillet and skate some butter over it to grease. Pour or ladle pancake batter, keeping the pancake diameter about the size of a sausage (or a little smaller).
  4. When the batter is dimpled with holes, sprinkle berries across the pancake. Flip.
  5. Cook until the bottom is browned.
  6. To assemble, place a sausage in the middle of the plate. Put one pancake, blueberry side up, on either side of the sausage. Add bacon or sliced fruit for antennae.
What’s your favorite thing to do with blueberries?