Blueberry trifecta: labor day weekend in Michigan

By chance, luck or the randomness of the universe, I scored three pints of the last blueberries of the season at the farmers’ market (hello fall squash and apples, goodbye berries).  In my eagerness make use of the berries,  I made my first blueberry (and peach) pie, concocted from a variety of sources my own version of blueberry ice cream, and made an old stand by, blueberry muffins. It was the jackpot winner of Labor Day weekend, and not just because of the awesomeness of the desserts, but because of the joy– yes, joy –they brought to family and friends.

We’ve been in Chicago for two weeks and driving back into Three Oaks on Saturday, I felt like I’d been away for months. It is pleasantly cool here, fall-like already.  Our yard needs raking, the leaves are turning, and the smell of fall —  wood smoke and fragrance of crisp crunching leaves — is already in the air.  I felt and smelt it today on my bike ride, and was pleasantly surprised by my welcoming of fall, which means the end of carefree days. The last juices of summer blueberries combined with the cool of autumn made my hours of cooking seem my own symbolic transition into school-readiness. (JY — you were right; I needed to be here to center).

Our neighbors hosted a party today, and my pie was a hit — combined with peach sherbet, and for the very adventurous, corn ice cream, (also made with sweet corn from the local farmer market) and Gorilla Girl ate two platefuls of pie sans crust! The blueberries were tart and the pie was still warm when we dug in after the shared neighborhood dinner. Perfection.

Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl got into the act with me in the kitchen, rolling dough with the excess from my (first ever, and spectacular) pie crust. Monkey Man made noodles, à la Kung Fu Panda, and he invented a story about eating said noodles. Gorilla Girl just cut and rolled, cut and rolled.

At the Labor Day bash, Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl played with so many of the other party goers that EE and I actually had time to visit, talk, and even relax a little.  Our children are growing up, becoming more confident and relaxed here with the folks in our town, and probably do as good a job entertaining the neighbors as the neighbors do of keeping Gorilla Girl and Monkey Man occupied. Between games of put-put for cash in DK’s garage (called the “barn” by MM), playing soccer with the guys in the yard, playing with DW’s i-phone, catching cheeto-eating moths, and dancing, Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl had quite a final farewell bash to summer.

Blueberry ice cream in process

When we finally made our way home, as we meandered across the yard, Gorilla Girl said, in her most grown-up and serious voice, “It’s good to be back in Michigan.” I laughed out loud at her perception of my own inner thoughts. It is good to be back.  Once in the house, getting ready for bed, Gorilla Girl continued her philosophizing about the evening.  “That was a really good party, wasn’t it?”

She was happy, and Monkey Man was equally content.

We are content here, gathering our strength, centering before the coming academic storm that will bring more challenges and rewards, too.

Blueberry ice cream

And the blueberry trifecta — well, that warmth of the pie, especially shared with friends, the incredible color of the ice cream, and the welcome familiarity of the muffins capture our good fortune and all that summer had to offer as we plunge ahead into autumn.

This entry was posted in autumn, biking, community, corn, endless summer, family, food, holidays, ice cream, neighbors, summer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Blueberry trifecta: labor day weekend in Michigan

  1. Karen says:

    I am sure your pie was delicious but I must tell you, I was most impressed with Monkey Man’s kitchen-wear! Loved it! Sweet blog. Pun intended. Happy Labor Day!

  2. Homemade pie and icecream sounds great. Glad you had a good end of summer party. 🙂

  3. Liz says:

    So jealous of the leaves falling and the welcome of fall. We just dropped out of the hundreds yesterday. Loving the blueberry ice cream…could I have another scoop?

  4. Cathy says:

    Oh wow. Blueberries are my favorite. Looks so yummy!

  5. how adorable are these children! and those muffins look amazing!


  6. Bet the muffins are tasty. Thinking of making something with our apples this Labor Day. Have a good one!

  7. Should I assume that you don’t buy blueberries that appear in the markets that are imported from Mexico?

    I can’t decide whether it’s safe or not: what does anybody think? Maybe I’ll float the question on my blog,

    Ronnie Hammer

  8. Amazing! And Congrats on making Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  9. I love blueberries and I could not stop drooling at the pictures- delish!

  10. carbonchica says:

    I absolutely love homemade ice cream! This seems like a delicious way to use up blueberries. My boyfriend loves them, I’m pretty sure if I showed him this page he would try to lick the screen. 🙂
    Happy Labor Day.

  11. ceciliag says:

    What a lovely day and your children are charming. Though i am a bit concerned about this talk of winter. Doesn’t snow up there? How will you ride your bike! c PS your ice cream looked excellent. c

  12. EmmieElle says:

    When I looked at the “Freshly Pressed” this morning, your blueberry muffins caught my eye…because I made some too! Unfortunately, I didn’t have THREE PINTS of fresh blueberries at my disposal. So, you made me thoroughly jealous…I’m also jealous of your leaves!

  13. pezcita says:

    That pie looks terrific! I usually have an opportunity to venture up to MI for a few days each summer to visit family and get some fresh fruit, but not this year. Though the blueberries are tasty, the peaches are what I miss the most. You could practically eat them with a spoon!

  14. St. Cain says:

    i could almost taste it

  15. Those blueberry muffins look delicious. I admire how you managed to keep the berries whole and intact without exploding–until biting into them. The ice cream looks just as amazing, perhaps more (I adore ice cream–who doesn’t?). Glad you and your adorable kids (who look like they’re having quite a good time baking) had a fun time at the party, and that a lovely autumn is in the air where you are.

  16. thebigbookofdating says:

    O my these look really amazing and have made me super hungry

  17. emjayandthem says:

    scrumpdillyicious! MJ

  18. Julie says:

    ooh I need to note making the blueberry ice cream next time!

  19. Connie says:

    Good use for your blueberries. They all look delicious.

  20. JL says:

    This is making me miss home so much! I just came from rural little town to the heart of Toronto, and I miss baking endlessly. End of summer just isn’t the same without a lakeside sunset everyday; Fall just isn’t the same without the farmer’s markets on actual farms.

  21. Corn ice cream seems to be the new hotness. Ice cream + veggies seems wrong, but I feel like corn works in everything. The blueberry ice cream, pie, and especially the muffins look delish. That reminds me — must make b’berry muffins before the fall officially arrives!

  22. jyourist says:

    Wow! You are famous and freshly pressed! And yum for the blueberries. I could almost taste that warm blueberry pie. Mmmmm. You rock, girl. Nothing like blueberries in any format for getting oneself centered and evenly breathing. Happy 2011-2012!

  23. k8edid says:

    Oh, I miss Michigan and fresh blueberries so much. My mouth was watering. I can almost taste the cider and doughnuts, as well. Thanks for sharing the pictures and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  24. snowblondie says:

    Looks Amazing!(opera voice! ) And I too enjoyed Monkey Mans kitchen attire! Funny boy!

  25. Mini.Sun says:

    as good as what i saw in the bakery,even better,i like the pie

  26. MCG ESQ says:

    Mumm, I can taste and smell the blueberries in those muffins! They look sooo good!

  27. altheasarah says:

    They look so yummy! 🙂 ‘Wish I could have a bite!

  28. You are so evil!! jk 🙂 I am so hungry right now. I just had Blue berry Bubble Tea (very tasty). Your trifecta makes it feel bland tasting 😦

    Great post 🙂

  29. uponatlas says:

    that pie looked amaaaaaaaazing!! wished I could’ve had some….

    🙂 Love your blog!


  30. jane0018 says:


  31. smileypic says:

    Certainly nice family-children time. ; )

  32. 40countdown says:

    I took my two boys blueberry picking earlier in the summer. We still have a pound of blueberries in the freezer from that outing — this inspires me to thaw them and make something yummy.

  33. Delicious.. such pretty beautiful colours

  34. Zach says:

    WOW, you make my face smile and my stomach growl.

  35. Hi, I saw you on Freshly Pressed. Congrats! All that blueberry cooking sounds delicious. I just got done pulling out blueberry muffins from the oven and logged on and saw your post. Good for you rocking the fresh fruit. 🙂 Have an awesome week!

  36. Mark C says:

    I looked on the wordpress blog home page and they had a picture of those cookies right there. I had to come see who made them and why.
    Just passing through
    Stay Thirsty My Friend.

  37. rogerthepoet says:

    We get our children to help in the kitchen also. Well done and yummmm.

  38. Morgan Cox says:

    I don’t want berries to disappear yet! The best time of the year for farmers markets!

  39. Leah says:

    Those muffins look AMAZING! I’m now craving a blueberry anything.

  40. Lele says:

    Oi its look so god and kosy.

  41. Foodoofus says:

    Cool pictures, those blueberry muffins look delicious.

  42. whatsaysyou says:

    Blueberries galore and those muffins look yummy

  43. socialfetish says:

    makes me go out and drive to the nearest bakeshop! (((:

  44. aerah08 says:

    wow..! it seems very delicious! Wish i could have one.. :p
    my cousin has been living in Michigan and she’s a great cook..
    but i hardly taste her pastries yet.. but i bet its good

  45. I enjoyed watching the children in the kitchen. Now that is priceless to me:)

  46. Carlotta says:

    oh my god that pie looks delicious! I wish we had pies like that in Italy!

  47. It all looks so good! My mouth is watering! Do you have the ice cream recipe handy?

    • Blueberry Ice Cream adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen (word press) and David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop
      I pint blueberries — fresh if possible
      2 cups sugar
      2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
      1 cup heavy cream
      2 cups half and half (or whole milk)
      4 egg yolks

      Cook the blueberries with the lemon juice and one cup sugar, simmer for about 10 minutes after it comes to a boil.
      Pour into food processor and puree, then strain the skins and pieces with a fine mesh strainer. Chill the blueberry puree.
      Whisk together the four egg yolks and put a mesh strainer over the top of the bowl.
      In a saucepan, warm the cream, one cup of half and half, and one cup sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the warmed milk/cream into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the egg and cream mixture back into the saucepan, and continue to stir over low/medium heat until the custard forms (the mixture should thicken enough to stick on the spatula). Strain the custard into the remaining cup of half and half (or milk) and stir to combine. Cool over an ice bath, while stirring, then chill thoroughly. Mix the chilled custard with the blueberry puree and pour into your ice cream maker following the instructions. This recipe makes about a quart of ice cream.

  48. wait!! wait!! where’s the recipes, lol

  49. leadinglight says:

    Blueberry muffins are always the best flavoured muffins

  50. jack says:

    tasteful dishes…

  51. conniewalden says:

    Yummy. Can I have some? Great, mouthwatering photos! Connie

  52. I LOVE blueberries and Michigan 🙂

  53. fridaamu says:

    Looks like the little ones are having fun, and the pie & muffins looks delicious!

  54. Pingback: Beer-vana: Greenbush Brewery, Michigan | Necessity is the Mother of Invention

  55. Jessica says:

    You’re making the pregnant chick (me) drool over the muffins and pie. Unfair advantage!!

  56. gaycarboys says:

    They look waonderful. Im hungry even at this time of the evening

  57. trialsinfood says:

    looks delicious! mmm….warm pie….

  58. Mimi Maita says:

    What a great end to the summer!

  59. Malia says:

    I want one of those blueberry muffins!

  60. sahmjs says:

    I love blueberries!! And my mom used to let me “play”/experiment with the leftover dough. Good memories. ps-As a mom you might appreciate this resource on how to avoid cavities at all ages, especially with Halloween around the corner 🙂 It’s called the Mom’s Guide to Caring for Little Teeth (

  61. thebigbookofdating says:

    O my , yummm I want some again!

  62. realanonymousgirl2011 says:

    Wow! Pretty impressive! And you put the kids to work!

  63. How great does that Bluebrry ice-cream look!

  64. That ice-cream is a lovely colour!

  65. Pingback: I Never Win Anything! « Deb Hanrahan

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