I spent the past three days at a reader's and writer's event in Deadwood, and you need to feel sorry for my family! I have done no cooking at all as I prepped for the event and spent my days away from home.
The weekend was fun - I made a lot of new friends and met some of my Facebook friends in person - but exhausting! I'll be glad to get back to writing!
Before I do, though, we have something to celebrate in our family. Today is our daughter and son-in-law's anniversary! (Can you believe it's been two years?????)
Next week I'll be heading out to join some of my favorite authors for a weekend writing retreat in Minnesota! The retreat is hosted by Gabrielle Meyer and Erice Vetsch and is being held in an historic mansion along the Mississippi River in Minnesota. I'm so ready for this! I'll have photos to share in a couple weeks!
Meanwhile, I'm beginning to think of how to work some of my favorite summer recipes in around our busy summer, and I came across this recipe again. It's been a few years since I made it, but I have blueberries in the freezer!
In the mid-west, June means strawberries, but July means blueberries!!!!
But seeing these in my fridge awaiting recipes took me back to my earlier life - when I was growing up in southwest Michigan in the 1960's and '70's.
Boy, those were the decades, weren't they? We were all so busy storming into the future that we lost many of the traditions, not missing them until twenty or so years later....
But some traditions never died, and one of those was the yearly trek to Leduc's Blueberries in Paw Paw to pick pounds and pounds of berries to freeze.
If you've never been to western Michigan, you're missing out on some of the best fruit anywhere - berries, apples, cherries, peaches...on and on. Between the Lake (that's Lake Michigan) tempering the winter winds and the sandy soil, it's a perfect place for orchards. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the vineyards! If you're into wine, Michigan rivals California in quality, if not quantity.
But my foray into my childhood memories was complete when I found that Leduc's is still around - check it out here: http://www.leducblueberries.com/
I was sad to see they no longer allow U-Pick. The last time we went picking there was when the children were small - but with four children and my mom along, we picked enough blueberries to last all year in no time!
And even though we now live miles and miles from southwest Michigan, if I'm visiting in July, we'll pick up some berries to bring home! I have an aunt and uncle who drive from Missouri to Michigan every year to fill their freezer.
A highlight at Leduc's are the recipes they supply (available on the website). On Saturday I attempted one I had never tried before - Blueberry Sour Cream Cake.
When I got to this point, I thought maybe something was wrong.
The cake layer was too much like a cookie layer, but I kept going.
It looked okay. It even tasted okay - but it was a bit dry. I'll keep experimenting with this recipe. I have a feeling something was left out when the recipe was printed....
But - never say die, right?
Sunday I made a tried and true Leduc recipe....
Welcome, Blueberry Buckle!
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream 1/4 cup butter with 3/4 cup sugar, then add the egg and beat well.
In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cup flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with 1/2 cup milk, beating until smooth.
Fold in blueberries, and pour into a greased 9-inch square pan.
For the topping, combine the ingredients and blend well to form crumbs, and then sprinkle the topping over the batter.
Bake at 375° for 35 minutes.
The buckle came out of the oven at 6:00 Sunday evening - just in time to take it to share at our Sunday evening service.
Oh yes, it was delicious.
And those who walked in at the last minute? Well, they shared the crumbs with me :)
This is a quick and easy recipe. Do you know what really makes it, though? That bit of cinnamon in the topping. Mmmm.....
And it's a good thing I have a couple more cups of berries left - more buckle tomorrow!
Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and growing family. When she isn't writing, she loves hiking in the Hills or satisfying her cross stitch addiction.
You can find Jan on Facebook, Jan Drexler, author, or her website, Jan Drexler.com.