It’s been raining all day and no one is complaining. After nearly a month without rain, everyone seems happy to see the wet relief. Even so the gardens have been doing just fine, with a bit of extra irrigation. We’ve been picking cherry tomatoes for more than a week now, still getting tender and sweet lettuce, some spinach, cucumbers finally and a few bush beans. We had to pull all the climbing beans after some disease stopped them in their tracks. Re-planted, the climbing beans are making up for the delay and we are hoping for some of those in a week or so.

But back to the rainy day. I made use of the forced time indoors by making some raspberry jam first thing today. The raspberry harvest has been good this summer, but because it takes two quarts to make a batch of jam, I stash daily pickings (usually a pint or so) in the freezer until I accumulate enough. This is the third batch, and you cannot imagine how wonderful fresh raspberry jam if you’ve never made some yourself. When we have extras, I’ll make a pie and that is what I consider the ultimate luxury treat. 

But this is also blueberry harvest time here in Maine, and those little jewels are another luxury to enjoy. To celebrate that harvest (which is one of the best in years with 95 millions pounds predicted) I made some blueberry muffins to go with a garden salad for dinner. But they weren’t just any muffins, they are my version of the official competition recipe for the 2012 Union Fair & Maine Wild Blueberry Festival. It is the recipe for the Kid’s Cooking Contest. Everyone makes the same recipe for the judging in the coming week. Because I didn’t have all the ingredients listed, I had to improvise. The results were great, and I’d guess this is one of those bullet-proof recipes. The muffins were big and had great color, and of course delicious too. Try ’em.

Wild Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or one cup all-purpose and one half-cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fat-free yogurt or fat-free sour cream
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups wild Maine blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, molasses, canola oil and eggs. Fold the egg mixture into the dry ingredients until just mixed. Fold in blueberries, being careful not to over mix.

Spray a 12-cup cupcake pan with cooking spray and divide batter between cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in the center.

Makes 12 muffins.

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