“On Blueberry Hill”


So about a week ago I started feeling a little tired. And then a little bit more, then really blitzed and finally into a full-blown case of into-your-bones deep exhaustion. I haven’t felt like that since I finished radiation and chemo back in January.

It scared the hell out of me, but it’s nothing to be concerned about, really. I just had check-ups at Fox Chase and both my surgeon and chemo oncologist said I was good for another 25,000 miles. It’s just been a couple of very, very busy weeks and I’m a little crispy around the edges. I honestly forget where all this busy-ness came from, but it was somewhere in between finishing up the first work project in early June, starting the current one and ending with the car blowing up

on me a few weeks back.

I keep forgetting (conveniently, I’m sure) that healing doesn’t always mean the physical kind. While I feel well and look pretty good, I’m a champ at ignoring the signs of needing to slow down. I really am my mother’s daughter when I say, “Oh, I just need another cup of coffee” and get a move on with whatever it was I was doing. I should be awarded a gold medal for all the times I do just one more thing because I can and not because it needs to be taken care of right at that moment. I was at my desk last week and I couldn’t focus on the task at hand because I couldn’t turn my brain off. It wasn’t coffee I needed; a snooze would have really done the trick.

My self-prescribed medicine this weekend is to take it easy and be good to myself; needless to say, lots of yarn will be involved. I also promised myself I wasn’t going to do a lot of cooking and damn it, for once I’m going to take my own advice. It’s going to be hot anyway and the last thing I need to be doing is spending a couple of hours in a steamy kitchen on some marathon bread baking session. We can buy bread this week. Other people do it all the time. Sheesh.

Same with pizza dough. I saw a recipe last night for a stuffed bread that’s filled with potatoes, spinach and feta cheese. It sounds wonderful and delicious but it’s an Anna Thomas recipe. I love her recipes, but they’re a bit chef-fy. My supermarket sells pizza dough. We’ll get by, somehow.

I am, however, going to make another pan of blueberry cornbread. When I first got my hands on “The New England Cookbook”, I remember seeing this recipe and thinking, “Oh! That sounds really good.” And I’ve been doing that for the past four years. I look at it and think, “Yeah. Have to make that” and then I move along to whatever it is I was looking for.

Pass the butter.

Pass the butter.

This isn’t a traditional cornbread. The batter starts out like a typical creamed cake batter preparation and finishes up like a fruited quick bread. It’s not too sweet, but you could definitely have this with a cup of tea for breakfast or a snack. It would probably be fabulous toasted and slathered with butter or Earth Balance. 

Tell you what. You go make the cornbread and the tea. I’m going to put my feet up for a few and grab my knitting and rest.

Blueberry Cornbread

  • 1 ½ cups + 2 Tbsp. unbleached white flour
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter or Earth Balance, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (lowfat is fine)
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen (gasp!) blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease a 9” baking pan.
  2. Combine 1 ¼ cups of the flour, the cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Run a whisk through to get the lumps out and to blend the dry ingredients.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar in another bowl until smooth. Beat in the eggs, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary, until well blended. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk, and beat until just blended.
  4. Toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the flour and fold them into the batter. Scrape into the prepared dish, smoothing the top.
  5. Bake until pale golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Start checking for doneness at 25 minutes, though.
  6. Let the bread rest for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving hot or warm. It’s also pretty good at room temperature and it ain’t half bad cold straight out of the fridge, either.
  7. Enjoy!

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