I need answers.
Do you fall asleep with the TV on? Are you married? Single? Living in sin?
See, I’m conducting comprehensive research for a study I’m beginning. If you want to become part of How High Is The Divorce Rate Between Couples Who Fall Asleep With the Television On, keep reading.
It seems that in the last four weeks, Mr. How Sweet has aged light years. I mean, he’s always been old, but now he’s really old. He is no longer finding it appropriate for me to watch my mindless trash after 10pm while I lay in our fluffy bed. He wants to fall asleep in silence and darkness. Ummm… hello? When else am I supposed to see Kim Kardashian get cellulite lasered off her rear or salivate over a pork cupcake on Cupcake Wars? Please enlighten me.
He also watches the news. Only the news. Except for the 43 hours he spent re-watching the Royal Wedding this weekend. And that’s probably only because he went to grade school with the Queen. He is enjoying cutting the grass. Like, three times a week. I assume this is satisfying since it gets him out of the house and away from my nagging, but I can’t be sure. Next thing I know he will be reading newspapers instead of the internet and trimming his nose hairs over the sink.
But back to this whole TV thing. I’ve tried the argument that I’m a tortured writer. I use the word “writer” loosely, since anything lengthy of mine worth reading requires me to make a strong commitment to five glasses of wine. I’m afraid of the dark. Sometimes I think I’m haunted. I get spooked by shadows. I fall into mini depressions when I finish reading a good book. Me = tortured.
Yeah, so that hasn’t worked so well. He doesn’t care how tortured I am. He thinks that his sleep carries more value over my mind-numbing relaxation techniques. Fair? No.
So instead of counting sheep while I lay in the dark frightened out of my skin, I’m counting food. It dawned on me two weeks ago that I am inconceivably, foolishly, passionately in love with food. The way it smells, tastes, feels and looks… I adore it. This probably isn’t late breaking news since I’ve been tormenting you with post after post for 17 months, but it was news to me. An epiphany. An enlightenment. A revelation.
I lie in bed and choose an ingredient and think of every combination possible. Blueberries. How many dishes can I make from blueberries? Pancakes. Muffins. Cookies. Pasta? Maybe. Salad? Yuck. Scones. Ice cream. Sandwiches? Possibly. Crisp? Definitely. Would blueberries taste good with steak? What about pork? How about rice? Quinoa? Now I’m hungry. I wish I had blueberry pie in the fridge. I need to get on the treadmill. For the rest of my life.
I birthed this blueberry crisp from my new nighttime habit. Weird, I know. I’m also in love with my blueberry balsamic vinegar, so I suggest you get some and drink it with a straw. It is that good. The regular stuff will work too, but blueberry is the cat’s meow. And I don’t even like cats.
Balsamic Blueberry Crisp
2 cups of blueberries
3 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 stick softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons coarse sugar for crunch
vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix blueberries with sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of flour and salt. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and add blueberries. I used a 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 baking dish because I wanted a thick blueberry layer, but an 8 x would work fine too. Once the blueberries are added, toss them with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. The blueberry flavor works the best but original should be fine too.
In a bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add softened butter and vanilla, and mix thoroughly with a fork and your hands until it becomes clumped together. Layer crumble mixture on top of blueberries and sprinkle coarse sugar on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
While crisp is baking, add vinegar to a small saucepan and heat over lo heat until it reduces by half – about 5-6 minutes. Set aside to cool, the mixture should thicken at this time. When blueberry crisp is finished, serve with vanilla ice cream and drizzle balsamic reduction on top.
I also suggest you use a larger plate, or even perhaps this thing I’ve never heard of – a bowl – for your crisp. Someone has a bit of laundry to do. Blueberry stains, what?