Fifteenth word (and Blueberry Slump)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Some of my ancestors came to this country in the late 1600’s. They pretty much stayed where they landed. Some family came to this country in the late 1800’s, they moved a little. My family that came to this country around 1700 moved and moved and moved, out into the middle of the country. The ones that came to this country in 1918 moved too, south and south and south. I am from this country, but now from the other end of it, and a High Provincialism is in order: I live in California by extreme choice, and except for the days of budget crises and IOU’s, the mashup of technology and nature reflects my personality perfectly.

But in the summer, at least for a few weeks, I tend to wonder what I am doing here. Every summer, for a few weeks, I return to the land of my most ancient forbearers: I spend a week or two every summer on cape cod, swimming, paddling, hiking, and cooking and eating THAT local food.

This summer was the second with my son in tow but really, it seemed like the first, as last year he was not even three months old.

So our vacation changed a little. I had a massage one day, and went running three others, when rain threatened and he napped through the good beach hours. Beach yoga, and visits to the baby beach replaced paddling and hiking. We didn’t make it to as many galleries, to the movies, or stay up as late. It was the best vacation we’ve had in a long time.

We ate lobster twice, and J ate blueberries every morning. He’s enjoyed blueberries at home, and his breakfast of choice for some months has been blueberry waffles. But this was different. He picked them off his grandparents' bushes for a quick snack, had a a bite of cornmeal and blueberry muffin for breakfast, a bowlful for lunch, and gobbled down the Blueberry slump I made for our traditional-last-night-lobster (and bluefish pate, and oysters, and corn)-dinner.
On the plane home, he said to me, twice, “Blueb! Blueb!”. It took me a minute to figure out, but then I pulled out the bag I'd brought with me, and mentally counted "15!" on his growing vocabulary list.

Blueberry Slump
4 cups blueberries
4 small plums, pitted and sliced thin
½ c water
½ c sugar
1 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs grated ginger
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a cast iron skillet combine the blueberries, the plums, the water, the sugar, the cornstarch, and the ginger, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and simmer it for 5-10 minutes.

In a bowl sift together the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, and the salt. In a bowl beat the cream until it holds soft peaks, spoon it into the well in the flour mixture and combine the mixture with a fork until it just forms a dough. Most recipes call for then rolling out your batter and cutting the biscuits, which you can certainly do I simply form mine very very lightly by hand, which I find results in an airier texture. However you do it, you want 6ish biscuits.
Drop the biscuits on top of the fruit mixture. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly golden and the fruit is bubbling.

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