It’s been happy market weekends for me lately…it being summer and produce being plentiful. Despite feeling like I’m in a perpetual sauna, I’m enjoying all that the markets have to offer (along with the weekend trips and the general holiday-like feeling that summer brings). Our gorgeous mangoes are even more gorgeous in the summer and I have been religiously buying them every chance I get (it’s my duty!). This is the perfect season to go to the market with no menu plans in mind…to just let the day’s bounty inspire you, like I did with the carrots and fennel and tomatoes (well, the tomatoes kinda came to me).
As if the season weren't enough, ingenious and determined citizens are growing things like wild rocket, mizuna, kaffir lime, Vietnamese mint, fennel, galangal, butternut squash, and all sorts of goodness. All in all, exciting days for market-goers!
Now, I have bemoaned our lack of berries before. Strawberries are the often-found berries around here. They grow in our mountain province in the North where the climate is more to their liking. Blueberries too, grow up there, but don’t make it down to us as often as the strawberries do.
The produce gods must have been smiling down at me though, because I chanced upon a box of them in the same stall that sold the butternut squash last year. The berries were tiny…much smaller than imported blueberries. They are also less sweet (some were a little sour). But they were local blueberries, and I wasn’t leaving the market without some, so I bought a small 100-gram bag.
Now, what to do with these less then sweet berries? I pondered the possibilities. Visions of blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes danced in my head but I feared that the berries weren’t sweet enough. So I decided to do the logical and just add sugar :)
- 100 grams Baguio blueberries
- 75 grams sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Place all ingredients in a pan over medium heat until mixture bubbles and thickens. Swish contents of pan around occasionally to avoid burning.
Yes, that’s all! The syrup was dark and glossy and delicious…and just begging to be poured onto something equally delicious – French toast! I used my basic French toast recipe (perfect for a solo breakfast), but substituted Swiss zopf, a challah-like bread that my mum-in-law gives me (which C doesn’t really eat, so I have loaves of it in the freezer, just waiting for meals like these!). I am not making French toast using any other bread ever! You can serve this with a dollop of cream or yogurt…but I prefer my French toast slathered in butter, before pouring on the blueberry syrup. Be generous!
The taste? Oh MY! Have you ever experienced a foot-pop? A foot-pop is what happens when you receive a kiss of such magnitude and dizzying bliss that one knee bends, and your foot “pops” upwards, toes pointing to the sky. You have seen it happen in countless of old movies, and explained by the endearing Mia of Princess Diaries. Well, my dears, it happened to me as I was standing by my kitchen counter eating this! Foot-POP!
If you have just one serving of French toast, as I did here, you will have some blueberry syrup leftover…and soon I’ll show you just what to do with it! :)