Lately I’ve been feeling my youth, or to be more accurate, the lack of it. That is not to say that I am feeling old, in fact I feel quite youthful. I am full of vim and vigor and can still touch my toes with ease. Though I sometimes peruse the obits, I do not fear my own mortality.
What I am feeling is more of a transience. I am feeling the loss of bare feet on grass, and cotton dresses on sunny afternoons. I miss long days filled with reading books on my back, and the sensation of endless time and wonder. I yearn for raining days spent making macrame bracelets, or even lanyard thing-a-ma-jigs.
I basically miss being a kid.
Summer days used to be so expansive for me. Each morning I would rise up, jump into shorts and a tee shirt, and delve into the vast open land of Free Play.
Perhaps I am missing being a kid in summer because we have such a long one here in Louisiana. It’s already been months now of warm days and flip flopped feet. In fact we are entering what I think of as the “Winter” of the Summer. This is when the temperatures reach over 95 degrees with it’s companion humidity. The heat forces one to dash from house to car, to then get blasted in the parking lot before diving into the frigid air of a market or store.
My first full summer here the weather baffled my sensibilities. The sun was high, the light bright and dappling in the trees. Lawns are green and growing and the days go long. But there is not a soul in sight. No children squealing through sprinklers nor the thwapping of ball tossing in backyard play. It is desolate and quiet. Life here is shuttered from the heat- just like in the Winter when we bundle and turn within against the cold. The Winter Summer.
However, I do not complain. Not really. It still makes my heart happy to see sunshine and gardens growing. This year I planted several herbs in large pots. I opted for this method so that I might manage the tender leaves against the sun and heat. In the spring they took the sun full bore, but now they dance between light and shadow to spare them from exhaustion.
The blueberries are from the Farmer’s Market and the mint is from my garden. I’ve always loved the pairing of mint and blueberries, and coconut cream, rather than whipped cream makes it even dreamier.
The spoils of the summer bounty.
I may still yearn to spend my days skinning my knees, hop-scotching, or playing jacks, but there is much happiness in plates of warm blueberry crisp on the porch as the early evening comes upon us and pushes back the heat. Best served with friends languishing on cushioned porch furniture as the quiet of the day settles into night.
- 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)- cold
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup flour + 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 qt blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 can coconut cream
- 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, minced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Using a box grater on the largest holes, grate the butter into a medium bowl. Add the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Using your fingers blend the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a wet sandy consistency. The mix should bind and clump when you squeeze it together.
- Toss washed and dried blueberries with the flour and place into an 9x9" (or comparable) baking pan and make an even layer. Add the crisp topping across the top making sure you cover the edges.
- Place the pan on top of a baking sheet and place into the center of the oven. Bake until the blueberries bubble and thicken around the edges and the topping is golden brown.
- In a small saucepan add the coconut cream and the sugar. Heat over low flame and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and adjust the sugar, and you may need water to thin. The consistency should be that of heavy cream. Add a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and cool until warm to the touch and then add the mint. Serve the sauce warm or at room temperature.
- I often make double batches of the crisp topping and keep it in the freezer. I also keep a few bags of frozen fruit or berries on hand too. Frozen berries may be topped with the frozen topping and placed directly into the oven to make the best last minute dessert ever.
- Feel free to multiply or divide this recipe- individual crisps anyone??