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Blueberries

The boat came in and the local Whole Foods offered a quart of blueberries for the price of 1/2 a pint.  Now I have blueberries stocked in my frig.  I’ve made Blythe Danner’s wonderful blueberry muffins with more blueberries than she has in the recipe, and blueberry scones – a combination of two recipes found in the local newspaper.  My friend tells me I will be so healthy from eating all these blueberries, but I’m wondering if I will turn blue – like Violet in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  The thought has not stopped me from gorging on beautiful blueberries.  Do you have a favorite recipe?

Blueberry Scones

  • 3 cups of flour (I used 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup white)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder (be sure it’s fresh – not been in your cupboard forever)
  • a pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter (I used Earth Balance but Julia would approve of the butter)
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk (mine was  low-fat)
  • blueberries (anywhere from a cup to 2 1/2 cups)

Some recipes include an egg, but my scones were fine without.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter as though you were making a pie crust – until crumbly.  Stir in the blueberries.  Add the buttermilk to bind it all together into a soft dough.  Knead a few times and shape into a rectangle (or round – depending on the shape of your cookie sheet).  The dough should be about one inch thick (I used a ruler to check).  Cut the dough into wedges (about 8) and bake on center rack until golden – 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve warm.

I did experiment with refrigerating and freezing some.  As long as you warm them before eating, they are as good as out of the oven.

Related ArticleBlythe’s Blueberry Muffins

It’s Julia Child’s Birthday Today

In honor of Julia Child’s birthday, I wanted to eat.  Going off to Paris was not an option, and no French restaurants were open in the area – but Julia would want me to cook.

Channeling her joie de vivre and her courage to use whatever happened to be on the shelf, I found shallots, garlic, elbow macaroni, olive oil, fresh parsley and basil from the little pots I nurtured – and Romano Pecorino cheese.

After slicing the shallots and chopping the garlic, I heat the pan before pouring in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil.  First – the shallots sautéed to a shimmer; then the garlic – just soft, not burnt.  In the meantime, the pasta boiled to al dente in 6 minutes.

I poured the shallots and garlic into a deep crockery bowl from my Grandmother’s era, and then remembered her cheese trick.  I grated the cheese into the now empty shallot/garlic pan – mmm, melted cheese – browning and aromatic.

Only a cup of the macaroni went into the crock (I had used only one shallot and 2 cloves of garlic – lunch for one).  Then, the chopped parsley and basil and, finally, the liquid cheese.  I gently tossed all together, and sat down to eat right out of the bowl.

A moan of pleasure out of my mouth and a toast to Julia – happy birthday!  No pictures – ate it all!

The Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook

Dr. Seuss saves you from green food coloring.  Try cilantro and guacamole instead.

The book includes recipes for Pink Yink Ink Drink, Cat in the Hat Pudding, and more – linking recipes to one of his stories.

My favorite:

 

Nupboards Nuggets from There’s a Wocket in Your Pocket

  • 2-1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal (not quick-cooking)
  • 1 cup green pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup light cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Combine all ingredients, using your hands to mix.  Spread the mixture on a large baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees until browned, stirring from time to time to prevent burning.  Remove from the oven after about 45 minutes to 1 hour, and push the mixture together.  Let cool completely, then break up into clumps. May be stored in an airtight container for up to three weeks.


Barely Barefoot Chicken

Back to the Barefoot Contessa for some real food.  Much as I would like to, I cannot live by butter and sugar alone, so I ventured beyond her yummy desserts.

My adaptation of Ina Garten’s lemon chicken was as easy as Ina’s and delicious – substituting limes (from a local tree) for lemons,  basil for the thyme and oregano, and skinless chicken breasts for skinned.

Julia (Child) always warned it’s better to cook with the same wine you would drink; since Riesling is my favorite, I had some for the pot and lots left over for later (and for sipping while cooking).

The Barefoot Contessa suggests making couscous and “haricot vert” to accompany the chicken – too much trouble for me – threw some red potatoes and carrots into the pot, and sopped up the great juices with a rustic bread (from the Farmer’s Market).

The Barefoot Chicken

Mince 9 cloves of garlic and heat in 1/4 olive oil for one minute.  Do not let the garlic brown.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup wine, 2 tablespoons dried basil (fresh will not work here), 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or lemons if you have them).

If you are using a pot that can go into the oven, hurray for you.  Otherwise, pour the sauce into a baking dish that will fit 2 to 4 chicken breasts.  Cut up the limes and tuck under the breasts.  Cut the red potatoes into quarters and place around the breasts, along with carrot chunks  cut on the diagonal.  Spoon a little sauce over the breasts and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.