Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our French Canadian Roots: Recipe for Blueberry Grunt

Sharing our French Canadian heritage with a monthly recipe from our childhood, hoping to inspire similar traditions and memories for our daughters


August is the time to celebrate the wild blueberry harvest in Nova Scotia, so what better time to make the traditional Acadian dessert of Blueberry Grunt. (Though posting now, we made this in August) This is essentially sweetened, boiled blueberries with dumplings - an easy way to use up the abundance of blueberries found this time of the year.

Blueberries are such a healthy food, though the sugar in this recipe probably negates that!
And an abundance there is - there are only six areas in the world where wild blueberries are grown commercially: the Maritimes in Canada (NS, NB, PE, NFLD), Quebec and Maine - Hubby and I have roots in 3 of these places. Nova Scotia is second in production, after Maine.


This dish was originally made by French settlers in a pot over an open hearth. Of course it is now made on the stove top, where dumplings are steamed with the boiling blueberries. Apparently, the name "Grunt" comes from the sound of stewing blueberries. It's a tasty, comforting dessert. Absolutely perfect on a rainy summer day. And delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Grunt

Makes enough for 4 generous servings

  • 4 cups blueberries (1 quart) - you can use fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Dumplings
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold butter
  • 1/3 cup milk (and more if necessary)
1. Put blueberries, sugar, water and cinnamon in a large pot and bring to a boil. Bring the heat down to a simmer.

2. While the blueberries are simmering, make the dumplings: sift the flour, baking powder, salt & sugar. Cut in the butter and add enough milk to make a soft dough. 

3. Drop scant tablespoonfuls of dough over the stewing blueberries. Cover tightly* and cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat, and let cool slightly.

*If the lid of your pot doesn't seal it well, it might be helpful to put a layer of foil over the pot, and lid over that. Don't lift the lid during those 15 minutes - let those dumplings cook :)

Serve warm, pouring some of the blueberry sauce over the dumplings. We recommend adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


You can find our other French Canadian recipes here.

You can find more posts exploring culture, geography and history with kids at All Things Beautiful

7 comments:

  1. I think it is wonderful how you are sharing your heritage with your children. This recipe looks really tasty, too. I am afraid that our heritage is so scattered (a little of this and a little of that) that it would be near impossible tor us to do something like this.

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    1. It's so easy these days for family recipes to get forgotten - hopefully this will make a difference. You know, you could focus on one part of your heritage for a time, then move on to the next.

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  2. I too love how you are passing down your own heritage to your girls. I also really, really like the look of this dish. Right up my street. We're buying some blueberries today for a native American dish. Hopefully we'll have some left over for this. Yum!

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    1. Oooh can't wait to see what you'll be cooking up!

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  3. Knowing the history behind the recipe makes it even more fun. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. I absolutely love knowing about the history or any informative tidbits about a recipe - sometimes it's not that simple to find, unfortunately!

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  4. Oh my gosh... any food with grunt in the name??? Consider me sold :D

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