8.31.2009

A childhood favorite revisited

     
    When I was five years old, my family was invited to pick blueberries at a private farm belonging to a friend of my dad. Apparently, it was a banner year for their blueberries and so we were told to pick as many as we could eat or freeze. They provided us with 10 and 15 gallon buckets and we went to picking. As you can imagine, this was a huge treat as we were a family of 7 and fresh blueberries just were not in the weekly budget. We picked, and picked and picked until we were blue in the face, and fingers I might add. Then the entire family entourage schlepped home to properly deal with this great unexpected blessing. Many of the berries went into the freezer— so many in fact that we had blueberry cobbler, blueberry pie, blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins for several years. I am not exaggerating. We lived on blueberries. Oh, and deer meat. So in truth, we lived on blueberries and bambi burgers. But that’s a blog post for another day.
       Ten years later, when my parents moved to the house they currently live in a bit farther out of town, my Dad took up gardening. From then on, he was lovingly referred to by my Mother as “Mr. Green Jeans” because everything he planted grew and grew very well. He decided to try his hand at blueberry bushes and they grew very well. Thus, we were reunited with the sweet little antioxidant. Of course, back then no one mentioned how full of antioxidants and nutrients blueberries were—they just stuck them in muffins and called it a day. My mom, not wanting to let a good berry go to waste, furthered her talent of berry-goodness and often made the most divine blueberry muffins ever. Seriously good, I’m tellin’ ya. I have recently tried my hand at her recipe, (complete with melted butter. Sigh.) and they just aren’t the same. Maybe because my feet now touch the ground when I eat them. Who knows? Never the less, I still love them whenever I go home -- provided my “mommy” makes them. There are times when I want desperately to re-create my Mom’s recipes… see: the apple pie incident. And then there are others when I feel the need to branch out. Last night was one such occasion.
   Lance and I decided to have brinner (Breakfast for Dinner) and I got to work making a frittata. Crustless Quiche-type thing filled with veggies. (Recipe to follow.) Try it with your own combination of fillings. You’ll like it. I also wanted to make a healthier version of the famed blueberry muffin. I was thinking somewhere along the lines of…oatmeal… whole wheat flour… juicy berries. I consulted Joy the Baker, whose blog I thoroughly enjoy reading. She had an Oatmeal Applesauce Blueberry muffin recipe. And can I just say that she has yet to let me down? Oh, my. They were amazing.  So amazing that I plan to make them for the Queen of Blueberry Muffins this weekend when she comes to visit us! I’m that confident in them! I cannot take credit for Joy’s recipe as it is hers and her alone—but I would like to direct your attention to her pretty little blog and encourage you to try the recipe. You’ll be glad you did. Even better, you won’t be mentally kicking yourself all day for indulging as they are full of healthy ingredients and not full of butter. What are your favorite “breakfast for dinner” ideas? Do tell!
Frittata
You will need a non-stick 12 inch skillet with Tbsp. of Olive oil. Heat until oil is smoking. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
Sautee 8 oz. Mushrooms and 3 tbsp. of minced shallots until fragrant and browning. Add one diced tomato, and 8 julienned basil leaves and cook until tender and water has nearly evaporated. Remove from heat.  (You can use any combination of sautéed vegetables that you like, only be careful that they are not giving off too much liquid.) Crumbled bacon; cubed or sliced ham; or thinly  sliced leftover steak would also be great. Experiment!
In a bowl beat 7 eggs, add 2 tbsp. of half and half or milk and fresh ground salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the veggies and top with 2oz. crumbled feta or other cheese (cheddar and swiss are also great.)  Gently shake skillet so eggs incorporate to the bottom of the veggies evenly.
Place skillet in 350’ oven for 15 minutes or until puffy and cooked throughout. Garnish with fresh herbs or scallions and serve in wedges.



1 comment:

Mom B said...

I really enjoyed reading about your childhood memory and now my mouth is watering for blueberry anything! Your "brinner" looked absolutely delicious and I can't wait to try the muffin recipe! Gotta make sure I have a skillet that can go in the oven, then I'll brave the frittata. What a wonderful cook you are!