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Blueberry pancakes showcase garden gems

Recipe: Blueberry sour cream pancakes with homegrown blueberries

Blueberry pancakes on a plate
These pancakes feature homegrown blueberries.
(Photos by Debbie Arrington)

My four blueberry plants have finally started bearing enough fruit to actually make something!

Anyone who has tried to grow blueberries in Sacramento understands the high cost of this spring fruit.

Every blueberry is like a precious little gem, tickled off of clusters one by one by hand. That allows the green berries more time to mature, but also means the plants need to be monitored almost daily. (Otherwise, birds may take all the ripe ones.)

Usually, my blueberries get eaten immediately in the garden; with only one or two ripe ones a day, why not? But this spring, my Sunshine Blue bush produced beautiful, large blueberries that were too numerous to just nibble. When my harvest measured 1 cup, it was time for blueberry pancakes.

Sour cream gives these thick pancakes a rich, soft texture that’s a perfect cushion for the delicate blueberries. They’re sweet enough that syrup is optional (but really good).

Blueberry sour cream pancakes
Makes 7 to 8 (5-inch) pancakes
Blueberry bush
Blueberries ripen on a Sunshine Blue bush.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup blueberries, washed with any stems removed
Butter for grill

Instructions:

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a smaller bowl, mix together sour cream and milk. Add egg.

""
Flip the pancakes when small bubbles
start to appear on the surface.


Blend sour cream mixture with dry ingredients just until combined. Add oil or melted butter, then vanilla. It will be a thick batter but still can be poured from a spoon; add a little more milk if needed.

Pick over blueberries to remove any stems. Gently fold blueberries into batter.

Heat pancake grill or frying pan to medium. Melt butter to cover the cooking surface. Ladle batter onto grill, allowing about ¼ cup of batter per pancake. Each pancake will expand; space them well apart.

Cook until little bubbles start to appear on the surface of each pancake, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until done, about 2 more minutes. Pancakes should be golden on each side.

Serve immediately with more butter and syrup or dusted with powdered sugar, if desired.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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