Thursday, July 23, 2015

Picking blueberries and Making A Shrub


We drove to our first u-pick berry farm in Siletz, Oregon. Together my husband and I picked 17 pounds of blueberries in an hour and a half. We each used 2 buckets, one to hang around the neck and the other to pour the berries into. The blueberry plants are planted in rows and on the day we were there the Jersey blueberries were available. They are dark blue, medium sized and very sweet.


The first thing I decided to make was a shrub. A shrub is a drinking vinegar that has been infused with fruit and mixed with soda water. It's an easy but time consuming process. The first step is to boil the vinegar and sugar together. When sugar is dissolved pour over crushed berries in a glass jar and let sit in a cool place for four days. The mixture is then strained and put into another clean glass jar and refrigerated.


It is suggested that you check the shrub about once a week until the flavor mellows and the drink is to your liking. Mine was drinkable after one week. This recipe has been slightly adapted from the Bon Appetit July 2015 magazine. The original recipe click here uses white wine vinegar but I used red wine vinegar and was very happy with the results.


Ingredients:

1 cup blueberries
1 quart heat proof glass jar (I used a ball jar)
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar

To prepare:

In a small saucepan bring sugar and wine vinegar to a boil. Remove from heat and stir sugar until dissolved. In a glass jar add blueberries and then sugar vinegar mixture. Crush berries gently with a fork to release more flavor. Seal jar and store in a cool dark place.


After four days strain shrub through a sieve lined with cheese cloth into another clean glass jar. (I used a pint sized ball jar). Cover and refrigerate checking the shrub about once a week until the flavor mellows and the drink is to your liking. I liked the taste of the drink after 1 week, and will wait one more week to see if the flavor changes much. Keep shrub chilled.


For each drink combine 3 tablespoons shrub with 1 cup of club soda in a glass filled with ice. Enjoy!
Cheri Savory Spoon
Cheri Savory Spoon

Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.

67 comments:

  1. that's interesting! never heard of that meaning of the term 'shrub' before.

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    1. Hi Theresa, a shrub is a drinking vinegar that should be both tart and sweet. Some people will add alcohol to them. I have just had this with club soda and really enjoyed the flavor. Have a great week-end!

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  2. Shrub! I very, very vaguely have only heard of it once and it was recent. Any chance you watch "Farmhouse Rules" on Food Network, Cheri? She was making a dessert one day using shrub from a local maker. I had never heard of it before then. So neat you are making your own. Wish I could try it...and get some of those sweet blueberries you mentioned. I rarely get lucky with very sweet ones.

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    1. Hi Monica, no I have never seen Farmhouse Rules but I will check it out. Now a dessert made with shrub.....that sounds very interesting. Take care!

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    2. She used the shrubs to soak ginger snap cookies for a trifle; it was fascinating! : )

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  3. Beautiful Cheri!! I love blueberries!!
    xo

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    1. Thank you Gloria, so do I, summer fruit is so delicious!

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  4. I have never heard of this before Cheri. I will certainly give it a try :)

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    1. Hi Tandy, shrubs are drinks made in the Colonial Era to preserve fruit long after harvest. They went along the way side as our foods became more and more processed. I am in the process of trying other methods and learning more about them.

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  5. I have never heard of shrub before. Your blueberry shrub looks very refreshing, Cheri.

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    1. Thanks Angie, it really is. It is both tart and sweet. Have a great week-end!

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  6. Hi Cheri,
    Picking these fresh blueberries must be fun. I've not tasted this drink. Looks very refreshing :D

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    1. Thanks Karen, it was fun picking the blueberries, we ate a few just to keep up our strength (of course);)

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  7. Can I be honest here for a sec? I never had shrub in my life. Now I really want to though...

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    1. From what I understand there is a company in Berkeley Ca. called Shrub and Co. and they make and ship all different flavors of shrubs. They are making a come back from the Colonial era. Have a great week-end Mike!

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  8. 17 pounds of blueberries? Wow! I would have had fun using up all of that. We went fruit picking for the first time the other week and I can't wait to go back.

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  9. Hi Dannii, oh I have been busy thinking of ways to eat them all, having a great time. Take care!

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  10. How fantastic to be able to pick your own blueberries. I haven't been berry picking since my younger days growing up in NZ. I have not heard of a shrub but your drink looks very refreshing and well worth the effort xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, just learning about shrubs, I think that there is so much to learn, this appears to be a drink from the colonial days.

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  11. Wow–17 pounds is a lot of blueberries! :) Your blueberry drink sounds really good!

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    1. Hi Nancy, yes we have been eating blueberries like there is no tomorrow. Thanks!

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  12. How lovely picking your own blueberries and I have not heard of shrub before - sounds wonderful.
    Have a super weekend Cheri.
    :-) Mandy xo

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    1. Hi Mandy, yes.... actually picking blueberries was alot of fun. The farm we went to is already closed for the season, it's such a short one. Anyway you have a great week-end too!

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  13. So fun that you went blueberry picking. I still wanted to go this year too. Way to go on 17 pounds too! :)

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    1. Thanks Kelly, it really is a fun thing to do.

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  14. Wow, Cheri. All those blueberries. Lucky you! They are just beginning to come in here in New Hampshire...we'll do some picking soon, too. Your drink sounds refreshing and delicious. Thanks so much. Do you have any plans for a blueberry pie? D

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    1. Hi Dena, no pie this time, we have eaten and canned all the rest making preserves. I can't believe we went through so many.

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  15. I've never heard of a shrub before - how neat! It looks like it would be so refreshing on a hot day. I need to pick some blueberries!

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    1. Hi Tammy,shrubs are very interesting, just starting to get into them.

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  16. I love picking my own fruits - unfortunately we don't have anywhere to pick blueberries here :( It'd be so fun though! I've never heard of a shrub before but your soda looks and sounds so good!!

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    1. Thanks Von, we had so much fun picking berries....and I think they taste better too:)

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  17. Wow, what a treat to pick and have that many blueberries on hand. And I've never heard of a shrub before. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, yes it really was a treat, I've never been blueberry picking before. Take care!

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  18. My goodness you did a fantastic job picking! You may have found your second job :) I could be a field hand. Nothing better than working outside. Love it and love this shrub. So interesting!

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    1. Hi Tricia, I love working outside as well, I would prefer to pick weeds in the garden than vacuum the house.

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  19. You did a fantastic job! It must be so wonderful to have your own fruits!

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    1. Thanks Marcela, yes it was and I think they taste better too.

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  20. I've made all kinds of recipes with blueberries, but never a shrub. This looks great!

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    1. Thanks Beth, we are really enjoying this shrub, a nice glass in the afternoon after working in the garden is great.

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  21. 17 pounds in 2 hours! Very impressive! Love your shrub too, it looks so refreshing.

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    1. I know isn't that great, I think I could work on a farm, it was fun. Thanks Scott.

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  22. 17 pounds in 2 hours! Very impressive! Love your shrub too, it looks so refreshing.

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  23. 17 pounds in 2 hours! Very impressive! Love your shrub too, it looks so refreshing.

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  24. Mark is a big fan of shrubs - they used to make them at the history museum where he worked when he was just out of college. I have never had one - I need to try it! I can't wait to see all the other things you do with your berries! ~ David

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    1. Hi David, I made pancakes and preserves, they were delicious!

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  25. This is really interesting. I have never made a shrub and I fancy the idea. It must have been really delicious!
    I used to go strawberry picking long time ago and I used to find it really therapeutic. Lovely post!

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    1. Thanks Alida, yes I agree, it is very calming, I think the same way about cooking or baking most of the time too.

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  26. I love picking fruits but I've never tried picking blueberries. Looks like so much fun!!

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    1. Hi Zainab, it was so much fun, I would do it again in a heart beat. Take care!

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  27. I've never heard of a shrub before, Cheri, but what a wonderful idea to make something so lovingly after you've even picked the fruit yourself! :-)

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    1. Thanks Helen, picking berries was a lot of fun, the field was full of everyday people like me and everyone was talking and laughing.

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  28. Wow, 17 lbs of blueberries? That's incredible! I picked them once years ago and now want to go picking!

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    1. Hi Phi, picking berries was fun and I would do it again but the season is so short.

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  29. I've never had a shrub before, but I'd be all over it with those fresh blueberries! Those fresh picked berries must be so delicious!

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    1. Hi Marcie, yes the blueberries were so delicious, I tried not to eat to many while I was picking them. Thanks!

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  30. I've never had a shrub before, but I'd be all over it with those fresh blueberries! Those fresh picked berries must be so delicious!

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  31. I've never had a shrub before, but I'd be all over it with those fresh blueberries! Those fresh picked berries must be so delicious!

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  32. 17 pounds of blueberries? Wow! The shrub drink is indeed intriguing and looks to be the perfect summer drink =)

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    1. Hi Kim, the shrub has actually mellowed in flavor even more since I first tried it the first time, I am trying it once a week to see how it ages.

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  33. I'll bet you're going to be having lots of blueberry recipes coming up :) I love that you picked them together. I've never had a shrub either! It's hard to imagine the taste but I'd love to try it.

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    1. Hi Susan, a shrub tastes kind of vinegary and kind of sweet, mixed with club soda it is delicious!

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  34. I've got several recipes for these shrubs (which is unique to the US). But I still haven't made them. Really must try them when there's so much fruit around. The recipes I have don't even cook the fruit nor vinegar, as far as I remember. Instead, the fruit is macerated. Very popular with cocktail mixers in New York and other cities, apparently. I wouldn't know as I don't drink. :)

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    1. Hi Johnny, yes I read somewhere that in New York there are restaurants in New York that serve shrubs on their drink menus also there is a company in CA that makes them. Macerating the fruit sounds very interesting maybe I will make my next one that way. Thanks!

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  35. I've seen shrubs featured lately. Wondering what they taste like? I think it would be great added to a drink, but wondering if it is very tart?

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    1. Hi Abbe, it was very tart in the beginning but as time went on it became more and more mellow, it is now delicious and very drinkable.

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  36. I am so jealous of your blueberry picking, Cheri! I would love to do that. I had never heard of a shrub before either. It was really fun to learn about it. What other things did you make with your blueberries? It must be so satisfying to cook with something you have picked yourself.

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