If you like to pick and eat blueberries, you've lucked in when you stay at The Beach House on Hatfield Road (our Nova Scotia cottage on the beach), as Cumberland County is the blueberry capital of the world.
Blueberry season usually starts in August and goes into September. You'll be able to find a field which will let you pick your own for a reasonable price, or you can buy freshly picked berries at roadside sales. If you want to pick organic berries, Joyce Yorke in Yorke Settlement has a pick your own field.
Other berries which grow in the local area are cranberries, strawberries and if you're lucky you'll find wild strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
The Wild Blueberry & Maple Centre in Oxford describes why Cumberland County is the wild blueberry capital of the world. For more information, visit the Centre at www.town.oxford.ns.ca or call (902) 447-2908.
This recipe makes about 3 cups. You can make it at the Beach House, and take it home to remind you or your relaxing days at the beach.
1/2 cup water
1 quart fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained sugar
1 lemon, seeded and cut into paper thin slices
1/2 cup yellow raisins
1/2 cup coarsely broken walnuts
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Combine water and blueberries in a saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until berries are tender. Crush berries occasionally.
Measure berries, and for every cup of berries, add 1 cup of sugar. Add remaining ingredients.
Cook until jam is thick and holds its shape, stirring constantly.
Pour into sterilized jars and cover with a thin layer of paraffin.
750 ml (3 cups) wild fresh or thawed blueberries (crushed)
1.25 litre (3 cups) sugar
50 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
1 package powdered fruit pectin
175 ml (3/4 cup) boiling water
Crush berries by hand or in a food processor until smooth.
Add sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, stirring well.
Let stand for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Dissolve pectin in the boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Add to blueberry mixture and stir for 3 minutes.
Immediately pour mixture into sterilized freezer containers and keep at room temperature for 24 hours. Store in freezer.