Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 tries to eat on $6/day.
It's been a pancakes-for-dinner kind of day. The kind of day where you wake up with a shoulder aching from carrying my fussy-for-weeks toddler in my left arm while trying to complete tasks with my right arm. The kind of day where you miss quiet time and end up behind and tired all evening. The kind of day where you pay people to give you bad news. Yeah, that kind of day.
Of course I had nothing planned or remotely started for dinner, so I figured we could have pancakes. Only we have pancakes for breakfast so often that we needed something else. Like IHOP for dinner. No, we didn't go out. But we had blueberry syrup and whipped cream with strawberries. There now, that's a better kind of day.
I actually made this blueberry syrup several days ago. I made it in an effort to healthify our homemade syrup just a bit and to make it fun for my kids--whee, blue syrup!
It's so easy you'll weep for joy. At least until your oldest and pickiest child does not say "Whee, blue syrup!", but instead declares that he doesn't like it because it tastes like blueberries (he wasn't supposed to figure that part out). For the record, he ate it anyway.
Prep and cook time: 10 minutes
(sugars: .33, flavorings: .02, blueberries: .75)
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp corn syrup (I use light)
1 C water
1 C blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp maple flavoring (optional)
Combine sugars, corn syrup and water. Heat until sugars dissolve, stirring occasionally. Add blueberries and bring to boiling. Boil vigorously for 3-4 minutes. Take off heat, let it sit for a minute. Pour syrup through a strainer. Reserve blueberries for some other delightful purpose (see note below). Add vanilla and maple flavoring (if using). Serve hot or at room temperature. This will keep at room temperature for at least a couple of weeks. Maybe longer, but ours is gone by then, so no promises.
Note: Of course, if your kids are not picky as heck, you do not need to strain the blueberries out. My kids are picky as heck and I was going for a smooth blue/purple syrup. If you do strain them out, save them for yourself. You can add them to your own syrup, which is yummy. But what is even better is to put them in your pancakes (plop them onto the batter after you've poured it onto the pan). These blueberries are perfect perfect perfect in pancakes because they're extra sweet and not quite as mushy as blueberries that haven't been boiled in a couple cups of sugar. You can practically eat pancakes made with these blueberries without any syrup at all. I'd wager they're awesome in yogurt or over ice cream or things like that as well.