I Survived September…

After dropping off son #2 at college in Massachusetts (that I refer to as a country club on the ocean) while son #3 was at his own university (my nickname for his- a fly fishing resort in Montana)…I got a text from a girlfriend.

How are you?  

I’ll leave out all the #@$! I used, but basically here it is: I’m sad. I have no kids home, my ankle is broken in 3 places, and the dog is dead…I am an Empty Nester.

Yet, here it is the end of October, and I think I’m finding my way. What am I going to do with myself?  Well, in true Tiffany fashion, I need to make things pretty, or as everyone constantly reminds me pretty as what Tiffany thinks.   

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We Tackle Fall.

So first, we are tackling Fall by getting the front of the house ready. It’s also a good time to bake a treat for the bachelor, son #1, and his roomies; and to send care packages for the college boys, #2 & #3.

My favorite spot to get fall decor is right near my house in West Olive, Michigan, Green Acres on M45 and US31.  I love using all the different colors of pumpkins and stacking them and filling pots with their colorful mums. They have a fantastic selection.  Also, Green Acres is under new ownership. The hope is to be open through Christmas. I think I know where my holiday decor will be coming from as well!

As for the care packages, the requested recipe for my #1 son, (who at least stayed near me in West Michigan,) was named by him:

Tif’s Famous Blueberry Bar


Crust and Crumble Topping

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 cup flour


1 large egg

1/2 cup sour cream (I use Light)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBSP flour


2 cups blueberries (from Blueberry Haven! Fresh in season & Frozen when not)

1/3 cup sugar

2 TBSP lemon juice

2 tsps cornstarch

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Prep an 8×10 dish with cooking oil. I used a glass dish & spray. 

Preheat oven to 350. 

For Crust and Crumble Topping:

Melt the butter about 45 seconds high power in a microwave. Add sugars, and whisk to combine. Add the flour. Mix together. It will be dry and crumbly like sand when ready.

Set aside 3/4 of this mixture.

Use the rest of the crumble and press it to the bottom of the pan with your fingers until all is pressed in the bottom of the pan forming a flat crust. Set to the side.



For the Filling:

In a medium bowl, add egg, sour cream, sugar, vanilla. Whisk all together.

Pour this liquid over the crust. Mix blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch in a bowl all together and evenly distribute in the pan. 

Sprinkle the remaining reserved crumble topping over the entire pan.

Bake for about 60-75 minutes. It should be bubbling all around, and the crumble should appear set.

Cool pan for at least an hour or two. If you try to dip in sooner, it will be runny but still delish!  If you try to slice it early, they will fall apart and not look pretty…but you kinda can’t help it to start to eat it because it’s so yummy!!

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Sending Love in a Care Box

And not to forget #2 and #3 sons, I am putting together their care boxes too (after I have already shipped the stuff they forgot. Including a last second overnight Fed ex of a hockey bag and sticks, that’s a story for another blog.)  #3 I’m sure needs a batch of Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies, and #2 would like a pack of sour gummy Grand Haven life rings. I’ll tuck in their beloved Morrocan oil shampoo, conditioner, and hair gel too…if only I could ship Mr. Kitty in the box, because that’s who they miss most.

Have fun gathering your pretty things to Fall-ize your front porch and sending your loved ones their favorite goodies. Stop by the store for more blueberry gifts and recipes. The fantastic staff will be happy to help you, because everyone needs more BLUE in their lives.

Always in Beaches, Berries, and Bliss,

Tiffany Balk

Founder, Blueberry Haven

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