Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blueberry Buttermilk Buckle

Most Saturdays during the summer, my aunt and uncle invite the extended family over to go swimming in their saltwater pool at their house overlooking the Columbia River. We eat lots of food, imbibe lots of drinks, and talk about lots of stuff. Last weekend was no different, with the exception of one thing: blueberries. For years, the three blueberry bushes at their house produced, well, quite pitiful amounts of berries. However, with one of the trees falling over during a storm, it has opened up the sunlight to these bushes and now they are covered! My uncle practically made me go pick some, and so I did. I only managed to gather about a pound and a half before I figured I had enough to do whatever I was going to do with these particularly juicy sweet morsels.

Now that I had a plethora of blueberries, I had to decide just what I was going to make with them. It just so happened that we were having a church picnic the next day and, well, we needed to bring a dessert. Blueberry Pie? Blueberry Crisp? Blueberry Tart? My aunt offered up making a buckle, and me being me, realized this would definitely be the easiest! For those unfamiliar with buckles, they are somewhere between a cake, a muffin, and a biscuit, and usually topped with a buttery cinnamon sugar crumb. You can mark me in the unfamiliar category in making one, as this was my first attempt, and oh! do I love trying out new recipes on large groups of people at potlucks!

Cory’s Blueberry Buttermilk Buckle

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
2 to 3 cups blueberries

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat on low until well combined. With the mixer or beaters on low, alternate the flour mixture and buttermilk until there are no more dry streaks in the batter. Using a 9x13 glass or metal baking dish, spray generously with non-stick cooking spray or rub butter all over that bad boy. I’ve never had luck with flouring, but if it works for you, do it. Carefully spread or drop the batter evenly into the pan. It will be sticky like drop biscuit dough, so this is easier said than done. Add the blueberries so they practically cover the dough. Next, mix together the topping and spoon or sprinkle it all over. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the center just barely springs back upon pressing it with your finger. Cool on a rack before slicing it into squares and devouring.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Update on Porch Rail Box

It has been a couple months since I made the porch rail box and filled it with flowers. Who knew something so simple could make such a huge difference?

When I first thought about making a rail box for the front porch, I wasn’t sure if it would even work. There were logistical issues to figure out; how to actually attach said box or boxes; where to place the box or boxes; whether or not to work with or around the trellises attached to the porch rail, etc. Anyway, once I decided to simply make one large box, I didn’t know if you would be able to see the flowers very well from the street. To my surprise, even behind the trellises, the boxes overflowed with flowery abundance! It totally distracts the eye from all of the weeds in the front yard.

Mission accomplished.