Sunday, May 20, 2012

With Crumbles Like These, Who Needs Blueberries?

Mother's Day was a week ago, and now I'm finally posting about it.
(this is thanks to my NEED to finally start looking for a job)
But! I think any day is a good day to do a blog post about your mother.
Don't you think?
My Mother's Day gift was the best one I could give.
I like to cook food, and I know for a fact that my mother likes to eat the food I cook.
She comes up to me all the time when I'm in the kitchen and I can see that warm grin on her face. It's got something sneaky behind it too. And that's when I know exactly what she's going to do.
Yep, she comes over and pats my bottom and says,
"Bo, bo, bo," with every pat, "My little cook! My little daughter is a chef!"
I throw my head back and yell, "Mooooom!"
But really I like her cooing and her love pats. And I know too, that she likes that I like it.

What did I make?

Blueberry lemon muffins for breakfast! These, my mom later told me, were her favorite of the day. I doubled the topping recipe, as I so often do. It allows for extra sweet goodness. Be lavish with the topping, it makes the muffins!


Pastrami Sandwiches--The Rachel for lunch! They were so delicious! My dad is a professed sauerkraut hater, but not any more after these sandwiches, which have the sauerkraut mixed with a home-made thousand island.

Berry Crumble for dessert! The reason for this post's title is because of this recipe. I loved how it let the berries (blueberries, rasberries, and strawberries) show off their great flavors all on their own and then topped it off with a crumble that was a little unique and seriously tasty! This was my dad's favorite of the day. He told me that I should open a restaurant because of this dessert...

And I got a little messy!

But I don't know if I could ever be up for that.
I just finished this book!

Charlotte Silver grew up sitting at the velvet booths sipping shirley temples in her mother's restaurant, Upstairs at the Pudding, in Harvard Square, Massachussettes.
This book is not slow, but rather it simmers on the stove like the cassoulets they make in France. You know, the legit ones that take hours...and hours to prepare.
This book is sweet, but not just in the way that makes you smile contentedly. It is sweet, at times, in the way that makes you a bit uneasy or unsettled. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so really. Because if all art was perfectly sugar coated, then you wouldn't ever get a sugar rush, which isn't always the most pleasant of experiences and which is also what happens in real life. All sugar lovers, like me, I think, can agree.
This book is not a punch of flavor, but it settles on the tongue, spreads like melted butter over the tastebuds, and lingers in its aftertaste.

It also has an excellent mother-daughter story. Wich is fitting.
Because it was just Mother's Day.
And also because this book was a gift to me from my mother.
And I often forget that she knows me the best.
Charlotte's mother is different from my own mother, but as I've grown older I've realized things about my mom, things I never could have realized--or appreciated--when I was younger. Charlotte Silver does a good job of relating this,

"My mother had taken her sunglasses off, and I could see, so close to mine, her face, as stylized after it's own fashion as a Kabuki mask: the lustrous lips, sea foam powder applied at mysterious, softening angles around her eyes, and the doll-like contrast of arched black eyebrows and teased blonde hair. She had put on this face while her stage set--her restaurant--was crumbling right in front of her.
It took me years, years after that night, to understand her attitude. And, later, to even admire it. The style; the verve; the queenly exit strategy; nothing apologetic, nothing wistful, nothing weak, about it."

Happy Mother's Day!
Happy not-Mother's Day!
Happy eating!

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