Sunday, April 4, 2010

blueberry crunch

I grew up in southeast Alaska, in the Tongass National Forest. Our house was surrounded by trees and berry bushes - countless salmonberries and blueberries. We made a ton of jelly and jam (which my sister sold to cruise ship passengers when they docked - we always laughed when they would ask this very blond, green-eyed girl if she was Eskimo - which of course also shows lack of geographic knowledge).

This recipe, from family friends, is one of my very favorite things to do with wild blueberries. Yes, "regular" blueberries are fine, but wild blueberries have a special deeper more intense flavor that make me go wild.


Mix and then put in 9 x 13 cake pan:
4 cups blueberries (1 quart)
~ 1/2 c sugar
3 T flour

Combine, then dab atop the berries:
1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 c oatmeal
1/2 c butter (originally she called for 1 c, but I find the lesser amount is fine)
1 tsp vanilla

Bake 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

okra soup

An impending move has me seriously examining the contents of my freezer, knowing I need to empty it. I've spent the past year filling it with all sorts of treasures, so this is a challenge for me. But also a fun challenge!

Fry pancetta or bacon (alternatively, use cubed meat and/or a soup bone). Then saute onion & garlic & chopped peppers (bell and/or spicy).

Add in vegetables. I shall add:
*okra, frozen
*corn, frozen
*green beans, frozen
*spinach, frozen
*diced tomatoes, canned
*1 c tomato juice

Add enough stock/water/whey/bouillon to cover. Cook 30 minutes or so.

Season to taste with salt, pepper, herbs & spices. Probably a dash of salt and a few grinds of lemon pepper will satisfy me (and cayenne if no hot peppers).

New Orleans style cabbage

I spent New Year's Day at my friend Laura's house, where we had the traditional black-eyed peas (which she made "jerk") and cabbage. This cabbage was soooo good that I had to ask her how she made it. Yeah, an entire container of parmesan. Yeah. No wonder it's tasty!

So since I'm spending Easter tomorrow with Ruby's family, where I have not seen a lot of vegetables, I figured this would be a good way to finish off my parmesan - with moving, I'm in OPERATION: EMPTY FREEZER AND REFRIGERATOR, so this will do that ... and the breadcrumbs in the freezer ... and the cabbage in the crisper ... So, here are her directions.

What makes this New Orleans style? Well, her mimaw is from New Orleans, and she probably got this from an Italian neighbor at some point. But what REALLY makes this a New Orleans-style vegetable is that all the additions essentially negate all the positives of eating vegetables!

There's no particular recipe for the cabbage but I can give you a general idea. I cut the cabbage up into small strips and cooked it down with a little bit of olive oil, an onion, and some garlic. Once that's done, start mixing in Italian style breadcrumbs until it becomes a little pasty. You can add the cheese at this point. After that, I put it in a casserole dish, threw a little more cheese on top, and baked it on 350 for 30 minutes or so to get the top a little crunchy.

I hope that all makes sense. It's one of those things I picked up from Mimaw and she never had any measurements for it.

Note:  When my friend made it, it was really good.  When I made it, not so much.  I won't be making it again, but will enjoy at future parties.