I want to do too many things. Most of the time I let ideas run rampant in my brain, sometimes I let them loose into lists, and occasionally I tackle them in real life. But my favourite ideas are the edible kind – the small culinary projects that don’t require a big time commitment, that you can dream up (even if you weren’t the first to do so) and start pulling out bowls and spoons and be done while you still have an appetite for it, before your mind wanders on to something else.
Early every summer, when BC blueberries finally come into their own, I buy vast quantities of them to eat and freeze and bake with – they’re just about the best things in the world to nibble on, my mom taught me to throw handfuls into salads (even potato salads – for real), and of course they’re naturals in pies (with other berries and stone fruits) and crumbles and smoothies and muffins and scones. I scatter them over pancake batter as it cooks in the pan, and simmer them with maple syrup until they burst, to pour overtop. I toss a handful onto yogurt with granola and pack them to go on road trips or to the pool. We go through loads of them.
BC is the largest region in the world for highbush blueberries – those big, plump, juicy ones that are perfect for eating straight-up, but also irresistible to bake with – perhaps it’s the satisfyingly deep indigo juices they give up to pies, cobblers and crisps, the way they run down the side of a muffin or scone. I love the way they transform from dusty-silvery blue, like well washed jeans, to deep, glistening purple – and so because most baked things don’t have near enough of them, I thought I’d toss a couple pints with sugar and bake them with crunchy, sugary biscuits on top, so that the bottom of the biscuits soaked up some of their juices, and the whole lot could be spooned into bowls for dessert or breakfast.
This isn’t an authentic grunt (or slump), which is big in eastern Canada and typically cooked on the stovetop, the dumpling batter dolloped over simmering fruit and then covered so that they steam, emitting, apparently, a grunting sound. I’ve never been witness to this, but have had cobblers, slumps, grunts and buckles (and even pandowdies) and this is sort of a cross between buckle and grunt – a grunckle. That totally fits, don’t you think?
Blog flog! Yes, I partnered with BC Blueberries to write this post – they supplied the berries, I supplied the appetite and culinary inspiration…