>Summer Snapshots and a Blueberry Bounty


Summer’s drawing to a close, and it seems like I’m grasping at activities and flavors that will allow it to linger just a bit longer.  Not the heat, mind you, just that feeling of being untethered and free that comes with being lucky enough to have your summers off with your children. 
Mornings at the pool.  Afternoon naps.  Seeing who can swing the highest on the swingset.  Slip ‘n’ slide fun in the backyard. 
One of the flavors that best embodies summer to me, besides a perfectly ripe tomato and the crisp burst of raw corn kernels in your mouth, is blueberries.  Luckily for me, I was blessed the other day with four gallons of fresh blueberries.  Evidently, one of my mother’s former coworker’s families has a farm a ways west of here, and they have all sorts of fresh local produce ripe for the picking.  Had we known the extent of their bounty, we would have come home with more than just eight gallons of blueberries and a couple of butternut squash.  However, we weren’t prepared for the trees laden with figs and the rows upon rows of acorn squash, so we’ll just have to go back another time for these items.

This morning, as my children were playing in the den,  my husband was cruising the internet, and our Jack Johnson station was playing on Pandora,  I was up to my elbows in blueberries, preparing them for freezing by spreading them in a single layer on half-sheet pans.  I had a hankering for some coffee cake….with my coffee.  As I was chasing blueberries all over my kitchen (they’re rolly-polly little suckers), trying to beat the clock and pick them up before my nine-month-old  scampered over and scooped them into his mouth, I was thinking to myself, “Self, what kind of coffee cake should I make for breakfast this morning?”  And guess what myself answered?  That’s right – blueberry!  Imagine!
I chose to make a yogurt coffee cake, based loosely on a recipe from my Williams-Sonoma Breakfast cookbook.  Theirs is for a  sour-cream cranberry chocolate chip version, so I just subbed yogurt and blueberries instead. 
  Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake
prep time – 5 minutes
cook time – 40 minutes
makes 2 small loafs
1 1/4 cups yogurt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups blueberries
Streusel Ingredients
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease two loaf pans.
2. Combine first six ingredients (through the eggs) in a bowl and stir to combine thoroughly
3. Sift dry ingredients over wet ingredients and fold just to combine.
4. Add the blueberries and gently incorporate into batter.  
5. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.
6. Prepare streusel by using a pastry cutter to thoroughly combine all ingredients – it should resemble course meal.
7. Top batter with streusel.
8. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool thoroughly in the pan before turning out.
What resulted was a very moist, slightly sweet cake rife with blueberries.  The plain yogurt in the batter served as the perfect sour foil to the sweet blueberries and sugar.  In the future, I will probably toss my blueberries with flour to help keep them from sinking to the bottom of the batter.  Otherwise, this was a great adaptation.

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