This year, I’m going to have a Literary Food Post the first Wednesday of every month. (At least, this is my very real intention.) Mostly this will be children’s books, but I may throw in a non-juvenile book on occasion if I feel like it.
For my first one, I’ve chosen a favourite from my childhood: Blueberries for Sal.
Robert McClosky clearly had children, because “Blueberries for Sal” is alarmingly true to life. Last summer during blackberry season, GooGoo went through the following routine every time we went out picking:
- picks berries to put in her bucket
- once she has about 3, she eats them
- then she tries to take a handful out of my basket
- I tell her she needs to pick her own berries because we’re saving these ones for winter.
Somehow I feel old just writing all that out.
Blueberry muffins are kind of a staple, aren’t they? Pretty much everyone likes a blueberry muffin, and they are most comforting to me at least. I have lots of memories of eating them growing up. My mom usually paired them with chicken soup and I remember anxiously watching as she took them out of the muffin tin, put them in her large shallow “muffin bowl” and covered them with a cloth to keep them warm, and then we’d all sit down to table and I’d try to grab several while they were still practically too hot to eat. My dad preferred the ones not “corroded with blueberries“, whereas I loved the ones with huge pockets of juicy berry goodness.
My mom always used a recipe from a card she got free in the mail, if I remember correctly. This is the recipe (veganised, with notes).
Basic Blueberry Muffin
1 3/4 C flour (I do 1 cup white, 3/4 cup whole wheat)
1/3 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c blueberries, frozen, fresh, or dried (I’ve subbed other berries too)
3/4 c non-dairy milk
1 T ground flax + 3 T hot water
1/3 c vegan margarine, melted (or cocoanut oil works wonders too)
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in blueberries.
Add milk, flax egg, and oil. Stir just until mixed.
Pour into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.
I welcome your suggestions for favourite children’s books that involve or allude to food in some way – I’ll gladly consider all suggestions and post about whichever ones get my creative juices going!