Sunday, May 3, 2009

Drawing Down Inventory II—Blueberries for LCM Anniversary

Blueberry Bread berries No, it’s not blueberry season, not here. Normally it might be getting close, another two months or so, but with winter the way it was, even that is looking doubtful. Although I heard a bizarre prediction based on slug behavior that suggests summer is going to be hot and dry (we can only hope that slugs have, if not brains, good vibrations), so perhaps berries will be here by the end of June after all.
Still, it is time to be using up the remains of last summer’s day that we have in the freezer, to make room for this year’s bounty. There’s an optimism about this annual ritual of drawing down inventory that suits spring—even though spring this year has only grudgingly started to arrive. Using up frozen berries is as much about anticipation as it about the product, or the weather, at hand.

It is the second anniversary of LCM this weekend. So what better way to celebrate it than with an old-fashioned recipe that showcases the frugality of husbanding food over the winter. Here is a plain bread, with a texture much like a good muffin, that is a good use for frozen berries.

Blueberry Bread
As with muffins, this is best served warm with butter. The batter will be thick. Makes 2 loaves.

2 large eggsBlueberry Bread Batter
1 cup sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup 2% milk
3 cups a-p flour, sifted
1 tea salt
4 tea baking powder
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
pinch flour
Butter 2 standard (8 ½ x 4 ½) bread pans. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Using a whisk, beat the eggs well, and beat in the sugar gradually until relatively smooth. Whish in the butter, then the half-and-half and milk. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in, just 'til blended, the flour, salt, and baking powder.
In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with a big pinch of flour and the lemon rind. Fold into the batter. Drop the batter, which will be rough and relatively heavy, into the pans. Bake until a skewer in the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a rack for a few minutes; turn out or serve from the pans.
                                                                    Blueberry Bread Baked