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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Blueberry Days

For many native Nomeites and Alaskans of the surrounding villages, berry picking, salmon fishing and moose hunting are common and the way of living off the land.  Several gallons of berries picked in the summer means a source of fruit to eat in the winter. 
A successful hunt of moose or musk ox or a catch of several salmon provides a family with enough food to eat throughout the winter.  Hunting, fishing and berry picking aren't just hobbies; they are a means of survival for many people in rural Alaska. 

Blueberries are a main staple fruit in Nome and grow wild in grasses of the tundra.  A drive down one of the three main roads leading out of Nome provides one an opportunity to stop off for berry picking. Several hours generally yield several good sized buckets of blueberries, that can be cleaned, frozen and enjoyed during the winter.  Blueberry Delight is one of the local favorites.

Prep/Total Time: 15 min. Yield: 12-14 Servings

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 prepared angel food cake (8 to 10 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 quart fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
Additional blueberries, optional

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in milk and dry pudding mix. Fold in 1-1/2 cups of whipped topping.
Place half of the cake cubes in a 3-qt. glass bowl. Layer with half of the berries and pudding mixture. Cover with remaining cake cubes. Layer with remaining berries and pudding mixture.
Spread remaining whipped topping over top. Garnish with additional berries if desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-14 servings.
Originally published as Blueberry Delight in Quick Cooking May/June 1998, p10

Today in Nome, in celebration of the coveted blueberry, there is a local festival going on known as The Blueberry Festival (that Mom and Dad are attending).  The weather is foggy, overcast and 51 degrees.  But, that won't stop the fun from happening on Front Street.  There will be live music, blueberry pie and lots of family fun today, despite the weather.   

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