Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Of Butter and Blueberries

As you can tell from the title, this is not a weighty post. It would be if I were talking about the kind that has settled around my waist, but, as my blog is kind of hobbit-ty, I feel a responsibility to authentically be gently rounded. Furthermore, anyone can - and indeed many people do -post about weight loss, so I will leave those kind of posts to the folks who actually have some weight loss to write about.

I'm in the middle of my annual blueberry kick. It's almost impossible for me to walk through the fruit aisle and not walk out with a container of them, even though I frequently haven't finished the last one. I have them with my yogurt in the morning, I walk past the box and grab a handful during the day. I swear sometimes I'm going to turn into Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which, if I don't stop the blueberry dessert trip I'm on, is not that far-fetched a possibility).

I made a blueberry crumb cake over the weekend using a recipe out of a cookbook called Baking Unplugged. It was excellent. The cake had great texture, nice flavor, and was made with butter and sour cream - which contributed significantly to said texture and flavor. Lasted two days, barely. So I'll head back to that cookbook for a recipe for a blueberry pie. I'm on a never ending quest to make pies like Grandma Clewett's, which were stunningly good. You could wave a fork over her crust and it would crumble. Her peach pie was my absolute favorite, but right now, I'm looking at blueberry pie because I'm in blueberry mode. I'll go into peach mode in August, when I can get really good Michigan peaches.

Today, however, I turned away from blueberries and made an effort to show my husband how much I love him with a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. My beloved has had a hankering for freshly baked, warm and somewhat gooey chocolate chip cookies. As he's been putting in 15+ hour days, I thought that the absolute least I could do for him would be to bake some. So I found an Alton Brown recipe for puffy chocolate chip cookies. I generally like Alton Brown, as I love food science, and find his recipes to be pretty reliable. This recipe called for butter flavored Crisco in place of butter, and I thought that sounded interesting. The Crisco stuff has no trans fat, which, if you believe the advertising on the side of the package, is better for you than butter. The reviewers liked the cookies, so I went ahead and tried it.

The cookies are, as promised, puffy. But, despite the cup of butter-flavored Crisco, they are not buttery. My husband liked them, which was, after all, the point, and so did our daughter. So my plan is to save some for them and send the rest with our son, who will eat anything not nailed down, on his camping trip tomorrow. The nice thing about disliking the cookies I've made is that I can send them off without a backward glance or even hint of longing. Those left at home are, like the Kraft individually wrapped singles in the cheese drawer, completely safe from me.

As for the claims of the non trans fat thing, I don't know if I buy it, but I don't care, I'm going back to butter (and blueberries). I just don't know what to do with the last cup of "butter"-flavored stuff that is now sitting in my kitchen. Our bedroom door squeaks...hmmm...

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