Oh, how we love summer!
The weather has finally been a bit cooler, allowing us to spend more time outside without being so uncomfortable from the heat and humidity. Matthew's favorite place to be this summer has been the beach. He absolutely loves sitting in the warm sand and watching the waves move back and forth across the shoreline. Such a change from last summer when he was deathly afraid of water in any capacity. Paul has been trying to teach him how to skip rocks. The only thing Matthew registered from his lessons was that it is okay to throw things in the water. I really have to keep an eye on him now because he has tried throwing my sunglasses, his shoes, our lunch, his gym shorts, etc. into the lake. A seagull almost choked on the Oreo cookie he chucked into the lake last week. I really would prefer not to get fined by the Wildlife Protection Agency.
Lately, Matthew has been trying to drive himself home. This has made Paul very happy, especially since Matthew has been scaring him recently with some of his wardrobe choices. Just the other day, we were at a shoe store and I was trying on a pair of new running shoes when I saw Matthew precariously walking towards me in a pair of silver peep-toed pumps with four-inch heels.
Paul flipped out. Majorly.
So, Matthew's fascination with cars and driving has been a bit of redemption from some of his less masculine fetishes.
Last week marked the beginning of blueberry season. Matthew and I headed out to the picking fields earlier in the week and came home with a couple gallons of huge, juicy, sweet berries. I wish I could report that Matthew was such a help in this venture, but alas he probably ate more berries than he put in his bucket. As I was finishing off filling my bucket, I heard Matthew, who was seated under a nearby blueberry bush, counting aloud the number of berries in his bucket: "One...two...three...four...five...six!"
I took a glance inside to see that he was entirely correct. There were exactly six blueberries that made it into his bucket after nearly two hours of picking. He probably ate close to 500.
The first thing we made with our batch of berries was this blueberry cornbread. One of my favorite pancakes are blueberry-cornmeal, so it only seemed fitting that blueberries would taste great in cornbread. I just utilized my favorite cornbread recipe and folded a cup of blueberries into the batter. Once the batter was scraped into the pan, a handful of blueberries were scattered over the top and the entire concoction baked up into a delicious, lightly sweet cake that is perfect for dessert or breakfast.
I ended up making "cornbread sundaes" for Paul and Mathew by taking a warm slice of the cornbread, topping it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and drizzling some buttermilk syrup over the whole thing. It was divine! I'm including the recipe for the buttermilk syrup below because I absolutely insist that you try it! We made a big batch to have on hand for pancakes, etc. but it really is quite delicious on ice cream and pairs marvelously with the flavor of the blueberries.
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup buttermilk (but regular milk will work just fine if it's all you have!)
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil, butter, eggs, and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a spatula, stir until just mixed. Gently fold in 1 cup of blueberries. Scrape into a greased 8" square pan and scatter the remaining blueberries over the top. Bake in for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let cool slightly on a wire rack.
from Tasty Kitchen
½ cups Butter
1 cup Sugar
½ cups Buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Karo Syrup
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
In a LARGE pot, combine butter, sugar, buttermilk, and Karo syrup, and bring to a boil for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add baking soda and vanilla. Mixture will fizz to TWICE THE SIZE or more, so make sure you use a good-sized pot! Set it aside to thicken while stirring occasionally.