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Special blueberry pancakes showcase garden gems

Recipe: Blueberry sour cream pancakes with homegrown blueberries

Blueberry pancakes on a plate
These pancakes are studded with homegrown blue
berries. Store-bought or farmers market berries also
are options. (Photos: 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 bush
A cluster of ripe blueberries on a
Sunshine Blue bush.
Blueberry sour cream pancakes

Makes 7 to 8 (5-inch) pancakes

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 Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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