Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Treats

This time of year, our house has more fruit than we can say grace over. I buy pounds of it at farmers' markets and then add more during trips to the Happy Berry Farm. Our most recent Happy Berry trip was wonderful for the experience and the purchases. We went in the evening to avoid this oppressive heat. As we drove into Six Mile, the sky turned dark gray and we could see sheets of rain and bolts of lightening in the distance. Wary but determined, we continued to the farm.

As we arrived, rain began to fall, but it was a gentle, cool shower and Sylvia was not the least bit upset about being in it. We were somewhat concerned about lightening (at least, we felt that as parents, we should be), so we worked to speedy-pick blueberries close to the farm house. Luckily, Happy Berry is having an amazing "blueberry climax" (their words), which allowed us to just run our hands down a branch to release big, plentiful blueberries into our baskets. In less than 10 minutes we had well over a pound of berries.

We added to our bounty a sack of white peaches (AH-MAY-ZING) and some of the best sweet yellow corn I've ever tasted. We also bought grapes since we didn't have time to clip them from the vines ourselves. If you've never had real, farm-grown grapes, then you have no idea how tasty a grape can be. These grapes make you realize how wine gets its flavor, how dirt and sun and rain can infiltrate a fruit. They are sublime.

We piled into the car, wet from the rain, warm from the sun, and sticky from eating grapes, berries and a peach. It was a perfect summer evening.

Following the trip, we had a bounty of fruit to consume. Sylvia will eat the grapes until her belly swells, and she and I adore peaches in the morning and for afternoon snack. I have made my version of cobbler (a buttery, almost custard-like concocation invented by our neighbor on the Outer Banks and a favorite among my friends) at least once a week for the past month, but I was itching for a new fruit recipe.

In searching for a healthy baked fruit dish, I found this gem on a new blog to me, Cookie & Kate. I have made many healthy muffins in my day, but they are usually dry, rubbery -- obviously not full of the tasty fatiness that makes muffins so lovely. But this recipe was different: healthy yet wonderful. I tweaked it a bit to my taste and available ingredients, adding a smashed ripe banana, using regular yogurt instead of Greek, and skipping the lemon zest in favor of fresh ground nutmeg. They were moist and flavorful, and a perfect accompiament to coffee this morning.

Oh summer foods -- I love you so. Now I'm off to eat the rare serving of leftover cobbler before D. finds it.

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