Thursday, June 2, 2011

Of Blueberries and Blenders

I recently took stock of my cupboards and refrigerator, including freezer, to see what kinds of dishes I can make and what ingredients I should think about buying on my next trip to the grocery store. Two things caught my attention: the frozen tub of chicken chili that my mother gave us probably a month ago, and two bags of frozen blueberries, also given to me by my mother, but sometime last fall. Those blueberries really needed to get eaten.

With the help of Google, I found, and settled on the blueberry coffee cake recipe that was voted the best. Of course, I had to make some changes, though. (I don't keep grated citrus peels in my kitchen, for example.)

The flour and sugar gave me no problems, but I still don't have baking powder, so I had to substitute using the baking soda substitution I discovered when mixing the batter for Irish cream cupcakes. To blend the butter, I used the electric mixer that my mother recently gave me, which is older than she is. No, really. My grandfather gave it to my grandmother as a present on my mother's birth. I'm not going to say how long ago that was, but I will declare that people really knew how to build back then! Though it might not be as powerful as the electric mixers of today, and struggled a bit due to having the incorrect size beaters in it (they kept spinning themselves out and falling in the batter), it works just fine for my purposes, and my hand was thankful for the break.

Rather than layer the blueberries, I just mixed them into the batter, then, after pouring everything into the shiny never-before-used baking pan, I sprinkled some cinnamon on top. Ordinarily, I would have done a crumble on top with butter and brown sugar, but I threw out the brown sugar when some ants decided to make a colony out of it.

I ended up not doing the icing for two reasons. 1) I don't believe I have ever had coffee cake with icing before, and it sounded kind of strange to me. 2) There is enough sugar in the cake and I am trying to cut back on my sugar intake.

The cake turned out to be not at all like my mother makes (smoother and less crumbly than hers), but it was still quite tasty and went well with the fruit blend ice tea that I made, though I think the added cinnamon is what gave it so much flavor. (Maybe the lemon does it for the original recipe.) Still, it wasn't a bad recipe and I think I would make again, just next time with the delicious crumble topping!

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