Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In praise of blueberries....

I'd thought of several things to write about today: the letter J, how I have too many things to do this month, how I might go stark raving MAD if the weather doesn't get warmer, how irritating it is when someone makes an appointment with you and then doesn't show up or even call, how the cats are trying to sabotage me ... but I got distracted. Right now, I can only think of one thing:

How did I ever not love blueberries?

They're sweet with just the right hint of tartness. They're firm and round and squish with a burst of flavor when you crunch them between your teeth. They're tasty raw and fresh, and they're just as tasty baked into something warm that makes the house smell great when you bake it.

When I was younger, I wasn't a fan of blueberries. I wouldn't spit them out and gag, but I wouldn't seek them out, either. If I had a choice at Thankgiving, I'd pick apple or pumpkin or maybe even peach before I'd take a slice of blueberry pie. I'd go picking with my grandparents, and while they threatened to weigh my grandpa before and after entering the blueberry patch, those fresh berries would be safe from me.

With age comes wisdom, I suppose. (Getting older is good for something, at least!) Now I love blueberries any way I can get them: dried in my cereal, frozen and then nuked with my oatmeal, fresh by themselves, baked in pies, crisps, cakes. When I go to the store in the depths of winter and see a big old pound box of fresh blueberries staring at me, I forget all about global footprints and local cuisine and I grab that box of berries that came all the way from Chile. Fresh blueberries! In winter! I must have them!

And so I did today: raw and tasty on my cream of wheat, and baked into a tasty crumb cake I made this morning for my no-show guest, to disguise the smell of last night's fish dinner. I had a piece, and it was tasty and delicious. And low-fat, so I will share the recipe:

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup stick butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
3/4 c. lowfat buttermilk (or take 1 T lemon juice and add milk to make 3/4 c.)
1 cup blueberries
3 T. sugar
3 T. flour
1 T. stick butter
1 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9-in pan with cooking spray. Beat sugar and margarine until smooth; add vanilla and egg, beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mix. Stir in blueberries. Pour into pan.

Combine 3T sugar and remaining ingredients into bowl; mix with fork until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until wooden pick in center comes clean. Cool and EAT. Yum.

1 comment:

  1. Yum. Captain Destructo stole all Thor's blueberries this morning right out of the bowl of yogurt. When Thor tried to trick him and say there were no more in there, Destructo cocked his head and said, "My see myself." Then he ate the one Thor was saving.

    Good instincts, my kid.