Blueberry Crisp

I read somewhere once, that people only use a tiny fraction of their brains, and that there’s an incredible amount of mental energy that is rarely used, if ever. I found this incredibly depressing. Those strange frontal lobes and upper cortexes of my brain: Unused! Unloved!

I frequently worry that I spend all my time thinking about relatively trivial things: laundry that I never actually do, driving, my obsession with John Aielli who is the DJ for Eklectikos my favorite radio show EVER, clothes, thrifting, college, doughnuts, clothes, stupid things people post on facebook, clothes, liquid eyeliner which I'm afraid to apply because I know I'll make a mess and I hate taking makeup off, clothes and a plethora of of other embarrassingly small thoughts.

But what I am about to tell you is not trivial. In fact, you can think about this all day, every day and even those neglected lower cortexes and upper lobes of your mind will feel loved. Ready for it?

This is a powerful thought:

Blueberry Crisp & Vanilla Ice Cream.

Need I say more?

Despite my love of cake and pie and doughnuts and cookies, there is something completely different about crisps. They are rustic, unpretentious and elegant. Strunk and White would approve.

Crisps fall within the style rules those two grammar fiends set forth: Crisps are not "overstatements" (rule #7.) And they do not "affect a breezy manner" (rule #9), "explain too much" (rule #11) or require "fancy words " (rule #14.)

It's time to stop thinking about trivial things. Feed your mind.


Blueberry Crisp
adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

For Crisp Topping:

6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats or chopped nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

6 cups blueberries, tossed with an optional 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and maybe some lemon zest if you're feeling fancy

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Using your fingers or the paddle attachment of a mizer, work the butter with the rest of the ingredients (except blueberries) so that each piece is coated and you have a coarse crumbly mixture. Butter a 2-2 1/2-quart baking dish. Pour in blueberries. Gently cover with the topping. Bake for about 45 minutes. Or until topping is lightly browned and blueberries are luscious and bubbly looking.

Moosewood Sour Cream Coffeecake

It's a cake marathon this week.

This is the second cake I made in honor of my birthday, inspired by my Aunt Eileen, (who makes a wicked coffee cake), this cake is something else: light, rich and creamy, with a pleasant crackling of pecans. Despite the fact that it's from the Moosewood Cookbook, don't worry, this was before they got all healthy, there are enough calories in this baby to keep you on the treadmill for a week.
Moosewood Sour Cream Coffeecake
from The Moosewood Cookbook

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white flour
1 cup toasted pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a bundt pan.

Cream butter with 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Beat in eggs until throughly blendt. Beat in sour cream, vanilla, baking powder, soda and slat. Gently stir in flour until totally incorporated.

Coarsely chop pecans, toss with nutmeg, cinnamon and remaining sugar.

Spoon half the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle nut mixture evenly over batter in pan. Spoon rest of the batter over the mix. Bake cake until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50 to 70 minutes. (50 for a bundt, 55 to 75 minutes for cake baked in a square pan.) Cool in pan on rack. Turn out onto plate after 10 minutes. When completely cool, dust cake with powdered sugar. It makes people think you worked a lot harder than you actually did.