Long before CB and I had children, we used to think of possible business ideas. Things that could combine our talents, provide an income and give us time together doing something we loved. Of course, most of our ideas really were just fantasies. But it is fun to dream, so often on long drives, we would talk about how we could make our dreams reality. One idea that came up several times was a pick your own fruit farm. A place where CB could grow interesting fruits and vegetables for people to pick, and I could cook spare produce into delicious treats to sell to our customers. These days we know the realities of farming, and boy am I glad that we didn’t go down that path. In truth, I was more interested in the delicious fruits, than in running a business.
When Hannah was very small (and we had no other children – my goodness that seems an age), we took a family holiday to Batemans Bay on the South Coast of NSW. One day, we saw a sign for a ‘pick your own’ berry farm, so we just had to stick our heads in and see if our little fantasy looked as good in reality. When we arrived, most of the berries were no longer fruiting, but the blueberry bushes were still laden with fruit, so my goodness we went for it. We offered to weigh Hannah on the way in, so they would know how much to charge us for the fruit because she hit the berries with gusto. We gathered quite a few punnets and spent the remainder of the holiday eating those small, sweet berries.
These days, whenever we get hold of some blueberries, I’m reminded of our old idea, and of a one-year-old who nearly ate her body weight in blueberries one fine summer morning.
Here on the farm, we have attempted to grow our own, without much success. So whenever I see them on sale, I always pick up a few punnets. Hannah is still a big fan of blueberries, and all three kids will scoff them as quickly as possible, but occasionally I manage to keep some back to whip up a dessert with. Blueberries and lemon go together so well, so this seemed like a quick and easy Sunday night treat to whip up.
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 1T milk
- 200ml cream
- ½t vanilla extract
- 1T icing sugar
- ½ c lemon curd (I used this recipe, but replaced the passionfruit with zest and juice of 2 lemons)
- 200g blueberries
- Cut each sheet of puff pastry squares in half and then into 6 rectangles.
- Cut 4 of the rectangles into 1 cm strips.
- Brush the remaining rectangles with the milk
- Place the strips of pastry around the edges of the rectangles to make a "frame".
- Prick the base with a fork all over.
- Bake at 200*c for 6 minutes or until lightly golden.
- While the pastry is still hot, use a fork to lightly squash the centre of each frame.
- Allow to cool before filling.
- Whip the cream with vanilla and icing sugar until it forms stiff peaks.
- Fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream.
- Just before serving, spoon the lemon cream mixture into the centre of the pastry case.
- Top with blueberries.
CB and I still talk about business ideas from time to time. They’re a little more rooted in the reality of our farm and life now. I talk about running workshops to teach cookery or garden skills, and CB thinks about how we can value-add to our sheep. We think about the type of life we want to live, and how we can make it happen. There is still a lot of fantasy there, but there is also a lot more reality. One day soon…
Do you love blueberries? Do you talk about crazy ideas for your future? Ever been to a pick your own fruit farm?? (you should go – they are awesome!)