Eat Well: Blue La La

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, Mom!
If it seems like I’ve been MIA it’s because I have been. My son, David and his wife, Alyssa recently moved to Portland, Oregon, and between two trips to visit them, a trip to Texas to hear Rachel’s last doctoral recital, and several trips back and forth to LA for Archer and Fable activities—all in the last two months, so I’ve hardly been home. I fell in love—FELL HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE—with Portland. For a green-starved Southern Californian, it was like going to heaven. We hiked up waterfalls, down waterfalls, to alpine meadows filled with fields of wildflowers, ate delicious food, walked to everything near where they live, and marveled at everyone’s gorgeous spring-blooming gardens. I love how many people plant vegetables in the tree lawn in front of their houses. And then there are the berries. All of the woods are teeming with berry bushes of all kinds, as are people’s homes. David and Alyssa have a huge number of raspberry canes, which were just starting to bear fruit when we left. They are now in full swing. 

When Rebecca was a baby, we lived in New Jersey for a couple of years and had a huge raspberry patch in our backyard. Every day in early summer, Rebecca and I would pick bowls and bowls of raspberries, most of which we would eat right there in the garden. They were by far Rebecca’s favorite fruit growing up, and it was hard to explain, once we moved away and no longer had an endless supply of them, that unless you grow them, they are a special occasion, once in a while luxury that come in very small packages. 
If you live in an area where you can plant perennial berry bushes—raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries—I highly recommend it. There is nothing more gratifying than going into the garden to pick berries. Make sure you check with a reputable source, such as your local farm advisor or a local garden expert, to find out which varieties grow best in your climate zone. (Nurseries are not always a reliable source of information.) Or if you don’t have the space or the right climate, going berry picking at a local farm is also fun. I was lucky last week to get an invitation from my dear friend, Mary, to go blueberry picking 5 minutes from home at a farm that she is working with. We picked about 10 lbs of blueberries, and I’ve been gorging on them ever since. I shared some, froze some but mostly have been eating them by the handfuls.

On Father's Day, I made a delicious recipe for blueberry buckle. (You can also make raspberry or blackberry versions.) This recipe came from The How Can It Be GlutenFree Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen. It is yummy, easy to make, and the batter can be made ahead of time to be popped in the oven when you sit down to dinner, ready to be served hot from the oven. If you are not on a gluten-free diet, substitute regular flour for the gluten-free flour. 

Individual Blueberry-Almond Buckles 

5 ½ ounces (3/4 cup) sugar 
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted and chopped coarse 
(toast at 325 for about 8-10 minutes before chopping) 
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
¼ teaspoon salt 
1/3 cup heavy cream 
2 large eggs 
½ teaspoon almond extract 
3 ½ ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 T) King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour 
(or about ¾ cups plain flour)
½ teaspoon baking powder 
3 cups fresh blueberries 

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray eight 6-ounce (or six 7-ounce) ramekins with vegetable oil spray and place on rimmed baking sheet. 

2. Process sugar, ¼ cup almonds, butter, and salt together in food processor until finely ground, 10 to 15 seconds. With processor running, add cream, eggs, and almond extract and continue to process until smooth, about 5 seconds. Add flour blend and baking powder and pulse until incorporated, about 5 pulses. 

3. Transfer batter to large bowl and gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared ramekins and sprinkle evenly with remaining ¼ cup almonds. (Buckles can sit at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 hours.) 

4. Bake buckles until golden and beginning to pull away from sides of ramekins, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let buckles cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

RASPBERRY—Substitute shelled pistachios for almonds, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for almond extract, and fresh raspberries for blueberries. 
BLACKBERRY—Substitute walnuts for almonds, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for almond extract, and fresh blackberries for blueberries.

And if you have a bumper crop of berries, freezing them is a wonderful way to enjoy them after your bushes are no longer producing. 

Freezing fresh berries: 

Wash and dry thoroughly. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet so that berries aren’t touching. Put in freezer until frozen (1-2 hours).
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Transfer berries to a Ziplock container, sucking out the air with a straw. The berries will be frozen individually and you can take out as many as you want at a time. Frozen berries make great wholesome snacks for kids! They think they are eating popsicles! 



Listening to Dark Dark Dark on the Bright Bright Brightest day of the Year Year Year...

Meanwhile, the Kids, Kids, Kids are home for Summer, Summer, Summer...  Not doing Camp Camp Camp until August August,August.... Trying to Work Work Work but like Ha Ha Ha...

Feeling Overwhelmed Overwhelmed Overwhelmed.

This song helps... 

Sending Love Love Love and endless Light Light Light...
Happy Summer, Lovers.


271. Wild Go & Daydreaming by Dark, Dark, Dark 

Sunday, at the Parade

Sunday, we took the kids to our neighborhood parade. We walked from our house -- we always do. It was a beautiful day for a parade. The sun came out as we were walking... there was music everywhere. And color. So much color. There was dancing in the streets. Women wore feathers in their hair and people waved from cars. Confetti and balloons danced in the wind and everyone was cheering...
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Love is love.

We are HERE and we are PROUD. 

Love is love. 

We all live - we all love... differently...
Sunday, we walked in the parade. It was a heartbreaking day for a parade. People were mourning. Hugging. Holding one another's hands. 50 candles burned in silence. People wore black and carried signs. "ORLANDO" painted on backs and fronts and signs. Hearts in hands...
The kids walked on behalf of their school... rode scooters in circles, waved signs...
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On La Cienega there was a man with a megaphone and a group of more men waving signs. The signs said horrible things. Hateful things. HATE in big block letters rose against a slew of signs preaching LOVE.
Everyone kept walking, signs held high. Fable pressed her sign higher. Kids kept dancing, riding...
They understand... 

These men want to stop the Parade.

But they can't.
They were not Muslim, these men. They called themselves Christians (but we knew better than to believe them.)

They were Americans. 

Just like the Orlando shooter.

They were extremists.

Just like the Orlando shooter.

They were men. 

Just like the Orlando shooter.

Their weapons were different, perhaps. But the root was the same. Homophobia. Toxic masculinity. Racism. Hatred born out of shame... fear... self hatred. Using religion as a crutch... using their god's name... in vain.

They were American.

This is America.  

Where guns are easily accessed. Where "hate" is a campaign strategy... Where LOVE is something debated in houses of worship... Where people say things like, "love the sinner, hate the sin." 

Where there are CAVEATS to mourning.

To acceptance.

To love. 

Keep walking...

Keep dancing...

Keep holding up your signs...

Keep LOVING exactly as you LOVE...
Sunday, we took the kids to the LA PRIDE parade. And next year we will, too. And the year after that. And the year after that. Because LOVE is a parade. SEXUALITY is a parade. OWNING our differences is a parade. FREEDOM is a parade. BODIES, FEELING SAFE AND CONFIDENT, is a parade. I want my children to see that. To feel that. To encourage and support and embrace EXACTLY who they are. And to rejoice as others lovingly, confidently do the same...

(My entire post is here.)

Love and solidarity to the LGBTQ community in Orlando and all LGBTQ communities worldwide. We are heartbroken for you. We love you. We stand by you. And we will continue to use our privilege to fight for your BASIC HUMAN RIGHT to THRIVE in this country. WITH LOVE AND INCLUSION. 

For those looking to DO SOMETHING here is a great place to start.  For those wondering how to talk to your children about Orlando's hideous hate crime, "LOOK FOR THE HELPERS" is no longer good enough...  WE NEED TO BE THE HELPERS. BY BEING ALLIES. BY PREACHING LOVE. BY RESISTING BIGOTRY AND RACISM IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND CULTURE... We need to involve our children in the conversation -- include them in the good fight. THIS IS THE TIME. LOVE IS AN ALL AGES SHOW.