Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Dash and I listen to music while we cook. If he likes a song, he'll place his hands on the upper crest of my pelvis, hoist himself up, and say, "Mama, let's dance." He likes the slow songs.

Last week we experienced Ke$ha's "Tik Tok." This song is not slow. We did not dance. Instead, we listened to the words.

"Mama," Dash cackled, "What a silly song.  I love it. WHAT does she brush her teeth with?" 

"Jack Daniels."

And then Ke$ha started rapping about getting crunk. And then she said something about her junk. I turned the radio off so crazy fast.

"Wait. Mama. She brushes her teeth with someone named Jack?"

"Nope. She brushes her teeth with a grownup drink called whiskey."

We agreed this was a bad idea because it doesn't kill the sugar bugs. And oh my god my kids have a ton of sugar bugs on their teeth right now because of all the fruit butter we've been making (AND ice cream, french toast, and pancakes—but those are for another post).

Last year, a quarter of Dash's lifetime ago, we made strawberry butter. This spring we've taken on blueberry butter.
Caramelize one tablespoon of sugar. Carefully drop in a big handful of blueberries.
The blueberries sizzle and seize up with caramel. After a minute, the hard sugar dissolves and the berries start to bleed their beautiful purple juice. Dump them on a plate to cool until room temperature. Be patient. If you add warm berries to the butter it can split. Blueberry butter is hardcore ugly when it splits.
Beat the heck out of some super soft butter and one tablespoon powdered sugar. Add half the berries. At this point you're coloring and flavoring the butter. Add the rest of the cooked berries and mix until the softened purple spheres just burst open. Serve it right alongside some strawberry butter. We had it on toast, pancakes, waffles, french toast, and even in oatmeal with warm milk.
"Mama. One more thing. What did Ke$ha mean when she said the party doesn't start until I walk in."

"Ke$ha THINKS she is the life of the party."

Long pause from Dash. "Okay. I think I understand her now."

printable recipe
Don't mix the cooked berries into the butter until they're room temperature. Don't put the berries in the fridge to cool because you also shouldn't add cold berries to the butter. All these steps prevents the butter from splitting. If it does split, place the bowl over a low flame to loosen the butter up and then mix vigorously until the butter comes back together.

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup blueberries
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
pinch salt

Mix granulated sugar and water in a medium-sized saucepan. Swirl around until sugar is dissolved. Keep watching the sugar. When it just starts to caramelize (light brown), turn off the flame. Toss in blueberries and coat with the caramelized sugar. But back on a low flame, stir with a wooden spoon, and cook until blueberries just start to release their juices (1-2 minutes ). Take off the heat, pour onto a plate, and cool until room temperature.

Combine soft butter, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt, in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix together really well (2 minutes high speed). Scrape down the sides. Add 1/2 of the cooked blueberries. Mix really well again on high speed (at this point you're coloring the butter by mashing the cooked berries). Scrape down the sides. Mix in the other 1/2 of the blueberries until they just burst open (about 10 seconds).  Scrape blueberry butter into a ramekin. The butter tastes best served right away. But you can refrigerate it up to 5 days. And it freezes really well and stays a beautiful vibrant color. 


  1. It is beautiful and I'll bet it is delicious too. As someone who has never used berry butters, can you help me understand the advantages of blending it together instead of just serving butter with the cooked berries on the side? Is it a taste difference? convenience for messy little kids?

    Also, how long will it keep like that in the fridge?

  2. erin,
    it will last for 5 days in the fridge. but it freezes really well. not only is the result beautiful when you integrate the cooked fruit into the butter, but it tastes awesome. it gives the butter texture and a surprisingly intense flavor.

  3. This sounds super! Where I come from we have so many wonderful berries perhaps I can adapt the recipe as each berry's season rolls around. Have you tried berry butters with partridge berry (lingonberry) or with bakeapple (cloudberry)?

  4. How lovely -- those butters sound fantastic! And I love the story about Dash and the music -- I can see that in my near future, as my daughter and I love to dance around the kitchen to James Brown...

  5. You've gotta love a boy who wants to dance with his Mama! This is one of my fondest memories and my boy is 43! Can't wait to try the fruit butters.

  6. I've made fruit butter with added jam,(delicious with seedless raspberry jam) I'm looking forward to making it with fresh berries.

  7. Made my way to your blog via somebody else. I think your's is the cutest Food+mommy blog around.

    Enjoyed reading some recent posts.

  8. Yum! When can I come over for all this delicious berry butter!

    So funny about the lyric thing. We have been listening to a lot of Snoop and Dre lately - is a bit much to explain to Lilah and Otis;) Oh well!


  9. I see you two continue having fun in the kitchen: dancing, learning, cooking. Hope to have it one day, too! :)

    blueberry butter sounds amazing, something new for me to try out this summer.

  10. Blueberry butter! Reminds me of my favorite restaurant in New Haven, CT that always serves up a different butter - from pb&j, to maple syrup, to lemon and honey and even blueberry! All delicious and such a creative take on such an 'expected' bread accompaniment.

    fabulous blog with fabulous pictures and adorable kids!

  11. I STILL listen to oldies and dance around with my parents when we do dishes at their house! I wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed reading your blog. It reminds me of cooking with my parents when I was younger, and makes me hope that I can do the same with my kids someday. I loved your Ke$ha discussion. I recently started writing a food blog myself, and your blog has been a big inspiration. Thank you!

  12. Love flavored butters! Will certainly try your blueberry recipe! Similar experience with Ke$ha. My then 8 yr. old wanted to know why boys would want to touch her junk. Great.

  13. LOVE LOVE LOVE your inspiring!
    Have just spent an hours back the snail go Mama!...
    Your kids are adorable...I think I should start to involve our girls more.

  14. I could read your words for days.