Friday, August 26, 2022

A Post-Birthday Bonus Post

hammock at sunset

"I never see the dawn...that I don't say to myself perhaps...perhaps today." – John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer

Thank you, everyone. I am still sorting through all of yesterday’s posted birthday wishes and prayers as well as the stack of birthday cards and gifts that arrived via snail mail. I am overwhelmed but appreciative of such an outpouring of good will and wishes on the occasion of my 73rd anniversary of life.

I enjoyed a quiet, reflective day at home. An early morning physical therapy session left me a bit more drained than usual so I napped and opted to postpone a planned dinner outing in favor of a simpler repast of leftovers on the deck, as the threatened rain failed to make a showing. It was relaxing and comforting and a great way to wrap up a lovely day. Raj made me a confetti birthday cake which we enjoyed while noting that the days have indeed grown shorter and summer, as always, is a fleeting pleasure to be embraced and relished.

I awoke feeling much more energetic this morning. So perhaps we’ll go out for an early bird dinner celebration tonight.

peaceful sunset sailboat

Every sunset promises that everything will be alright when next we wake; every sunrise offers hope that is the case. 

Again, sincere thanks to all for brightening my day yesterday, it is both appreciated and treasured.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Got Blueberries?

Blueberries are in high season around here. And since my PT is helping with my mobility Raj and I went to the farmer’s market this week and got some (a lot) blueberries. So after blueberry pancakes and blueberry compote, what to do with the rest? How about this snacking cake, it’s delicious and quite easy: I made it myself (well ok, Raj gathered all the ingredients and did the cleanup; but almost myself).


Recipe link

You can use any type of berry or fruit. I’m partial to straight blueberries but you do you. Since peaches are also in high season I might try them this week.

Easy Mixed Berry Snacking Cake

  • Cooking spray or butter for the pan
  • 2/3 cup mild olive oil or mild vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed (I used half light/half dark as my light was pale as White Privilege
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cups buttermilk or whole milk (I used whole)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup of your favorite fresh berries (halved if using larger berries such as strawberries) dried with a paper towel ( I used more berries – at least a cup and a half, maybe 2, in order to cover the entire top with them; baking might take a few minutes longer with the extra berries)
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar for sprinkling (I used  demerara sugar  which I happened to have  but I think a light sprinkling of brown or even white sugar would suffice)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving optional
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

  • Spray an 8-by-8-by-2-inch (20-by-20-by-5-cm) cake pan with non-stick cooking spray or coat with softened butter. Line with parchment paper. (I used a 9-by-9 and skipped the parchment)    

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugars, and vanilla. Add the egg, and then the yolk, whisking after each. Whisk in the buttermilk.

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of parchment (a bowl works just fine), and using the parchment as a funnel, add the dry ingredients to the wet in three installments, folding with a flexible spatula after each, just to incorporate. Don't overmix.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  • Sprinkle the top of the cake with the berries and then with the turbinado sugar.

  • Transfer the cake to the oven and bake, rotating the pan after 20 minutes, until a tester inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs, 40 to 50 minutes. (With the extra berries I think mine took most of the 50 minutes)

  • Let the cake cool to room temperature before dusting with confectioners’ sugar and serving right from the pan. Add a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired. The cake will keep wrapped in plastic wrap for three days on the counter - and some claim it gets better with age.

I didn’t bother with confectioner’s sugar, whipped cream or ice cream.  It really doesn’t need it but I’m sure they would all be good.

So get yourselves some berries. I am led to believe they are as good for you as they are good.


Also, from this time last year, I’m again you try something crazy like this Blueberry Corn (also in high season) Salad from Market Madness because it’s easy and quite delicious. Makes an interesting side dish. Recipe here.

blueberry corn salad

I sincerely hope you all have a glorious week, filled with sunshine and fresh produce.