Share this story

Blueberries and Beads

In Honor of the Blessed Mother

In our house, we love our blueberries. Whether in smoothies, homemade jam, cereal or in baked goods, we include them in just about everything. Not only do we love eating blueberries, we enjoy picking them annually as well. Every year, when I’m out in the field plucking each fruit from the branch, I can’t help but think of my grandmother, since she, too, loved blueberry picking. I wish I could have the opportunity to experience one more such fun outing with her.

Grandma also taught me the importance of saying the rosary as a child, and I realize now that my fondest memories with her growing up are when she would pray it with my family. If I could go back in time, I would love just one more day to have that experience again as well.

I often think about how the passions and traditions of our older generations should be preserved and handed down to the younger ones.

My grandma loved to bake and, according to my dad, she made amazing blueberry muffins. Sadly, however, her recipe cannot be found. It’s why I’m grateful that my daughter, who was recently assigned to bake something using “sodium bicarbonate” (baking soda) for her food chemistry class, chose to make scrumptious blueberry muffins.

Grandma’s recipe may have vanished, but her influence and spirit certainly remain.

And so do her prayers. I feel them when I pray the rosary myself. I thank God for her influence, and I hope to give witness to future generations in our family the same devotion to the rosary my Grandma gave to me.

May is the month of the Blessed Mother, and there is no prayer more pleasing to her than the rosary. And as blue is her color, these delicious blueberry muffins are a wonderful way to honor her, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and Earth!

Arándanos y Perlas
Photography by Shane Folkertsma

Michelle DiFranco is a designer and the busy mom of three children.

Blueberry Muffins


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter (room temp)


  • 1 stick butter (room temp)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups blueberries

Make the topping: In a medium bowl with a fork, mix together the flour, cinnamon and brown sugar. Add the softened butter and combine with a fork until it forms into pea-sized crumbles. You can also use your fingers for this process. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Fold in the buttermilk until just combined.

Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients and pour in liquid ingredients. Gently stir with a spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.

In a small bowl, mash ½ cup of the blueberries. Gently fold in the mashed and remaining whole blueberries. Fill muffin cups with batter. Sprinkle/press the crumble topping over the muffin mix and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.