Buoyancy and a good book

  Anne lamott

Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.

Anne Lamott - Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

{photo: here}


Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry cobbler 1
They're still rolling in, and I am so grateful. We are getting a handful of blueberries each week from our own new blueberry bushes, and we are buying them from local growers through the markets and Wards. They go on and in everything we can think of - from cereal and pancakes to salads to desserts. My oldest daughter remembers making "blueberry surprise" when she was little - frozen blueberries sprinkled with a tiny bit of sugar and with just enough milk poured over to freeze around the berries - a very berry-heavy ice cream. 

This week we made cobbler. Personally, I like making pies. I am just so proud of my hard-earned piecrust skills with their fancy lattice tops. Ta dah! But, in a pinch, the "rustic" adaptation has its charms - especially if you're short of time or your piecrust isn't rolling out right.  Cobbler is another step down - "crust" just plopped right on top of the blueberries. John likes it best of all and got one for Father's Day. 

This recipe is a slight adaptation of the one in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything - my new go-to for basic cooking. I always found my mother's Joy of Cooking a little overwhelming and preferred my grandmother's checkered (and tattered) Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1953). But lately, it's Bittman. I appreciate the more contemporary take, even if it doesn't offer the campy 1950s photos and artwork.


4-6 cups blueberries, washed
1 cup sugar (or less if blueberries are very sweet), divided
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter, grated
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt (if butter is unsalted)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375. Toss fruit with 1/2 sugar and place in buttered pie pan. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, then blend in butter with either a pastry cutter or your fingers. Then mix in beaten egg and vanilla with a fork. Drop flour mixutre onto blueberries by tablespoons without spreading out. Bake until golden, just starting to brown - 35 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately. John likes whipped cream with it; I like ice cream. My grandmother would have used sour cream.