Our U-pick blueberries are in abundance right now. Come by and pick enough to eat fresh along with some to enjoy later. Freezing berries is easy and there is no need to thaw them if you use them later in baked products. Freeze the berries without washing (if you wash them before freezing, their skins become tough). To freeze, remove the stems, package tightly in freezer bags or containers, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Seal airtight and freeze. When you remove them from the freezer just rinse in cold water and use immediately. Canning is a bit more involved, but yields berries that can be used just like fresh ones in muffins, pies and cakes. Sort, wash and stem berries before blanching. Put berries in a single layer of cheesecloth about 20 inches square. Hold cloth by corners and dip berries into a kettle of boiling water. Hold for about 30 seconds or until juice spots show on the cloth (you could also use a blanching basket). Put the bundle in cold water immediately to cool the berries. Drain. Fill hot jars within 1/2 inch of top, shaking to pack berries. Do not add water or sweetening. Adjust lids and process in boiling water bath canner 15 minutes for pints, 20 minutes for quarts.
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