These are a hoot! They’re fun, playful, and such a surprise. Maine is known for a lot of things: moose, lobsters, and of course, wild blueberries. Last year 86 million pounds of blueberries were harvested here in Maine. That’s a lot of blueberry muffins. Maine is the wild blueberry capital of the world. So when we discovered this new stone we knew we just had to have it. It’s a salt and pepper granite with little blue azurite spheres nestled within. Cut and polished, the blueberries appear scattered beautifully across the surface as only nature can do…we’ve never seen anything quite like it. Set in sterling silver with 18″ chain. Every piece is different.
Blueberry lovers, rejoice.
*From Maine? No! We wish though! This is a magical new world gem.
I had a redheaded grandmother who was full blooded Scottish. She had ten brothers and sisters, all with flame red hair. They were a riot to see together at a family gathering. This grandmother was born in 1901. To a kid, she wasn’t a day over 12. She gardened at her sea side cottage: Swiss chard, rhubarb, green and yellow beans, peas, potatoes, carrots, and beets. She had gardens with flowers, at least a thousand every year: pansies and petunias. She had cats and dogs, went barefoot, and played on the beach like a kid would, climbing rock cliffs and hunting for cultivated flowers gone wild. She would dig them up and bring them home.
I remember July and August vividly because she would go wild blueberry picking and come back with quarts and quarts of wild blueberries and bake blueberry pies and muffins every week. I can still smell and taste the warm steaming blueberry muffins with melting butter.
I can never look at one of our blueberry stones with their wild eclectic randomized splotches of blue without thinking they look like a blueberry muffin, top torn open (the top half is the best half). The blue stains in the white interior were always sprinkled throughout. Tear a muffin open: one berry by itself, two together touching, a group of several clumped all bleeding blue then all white, soft white spaces, space, space, then several more blues running off an edge. The taste steaming melting yellow butter, tongue touching blue, the smell, the scent, the warmth, the taste. Truth, you never get over blueberry muffins right out of the oven.
Blueberry stone is cold, hard granite with natural blue azurite spheres scattered through it. And yet, one look and I can see my grandmother, back to, apron on, in her narrow beach kitchen, unfolding the top of a blueberry pie crust. Or, the oven door hanging open, pulling out a tin of blueberry muffins. There’s magic, pure magic and warmth in this piece of granite with natural blue gem spheres scattered throughout.
I’m back in my Scottish grandmother’s cottage eating blueberry muffins for breakfast, looking out the porch windows at the incoming tide, my five-year-old feet swinging from the chair, they don’t touch the floor yet, eating blueberry muffins, blueberry pie, rice pudding, banana nut bread and a tall glass of milk.
My neighbor Paula bakes and brings these muffins to the end of the road to give them out to neighbors who are cheering the runners in the Beach to Beacon race each year. I think she also offers muffins to the runners if it looks like they need a little pickup.
This recipe, when made right, rivals any muffin recipe ever made. It is just as good, if not better than my red-headed grandmother’s.
• 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh preferred
• 1/4 cup sugar, for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with papers.
2. In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar until well combined.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and beating well after each addition.
4. Mix in the baking powder, salt, and vanilla.
5. Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently just to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
6. Mash 1/2 cup of the blueberries. Add the mashed and whole berries to the batter, stirring to distribute.
7. Scoop the batter by the heaping 1/4-cupful into the prepared muffin pan.
8. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar atop each muffin, if desired.
9. Bake the muffins for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
10. Remove the muffins from the oven, loosen their edges from the pan, and after about 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.
11. Makes 12 muffins.
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Our extended ninety days, for a small business, is almost unheard of. Truth is, we shop for gifts too, and rather than scrambling at the last minute and feeling the tension of time, we like this more relaxed approach. We wish everyone did something like this… it would be a kinder, gentler world.