Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Very Berry Blogging Slump

Blame it on the extremely cold weather or the new job but I've sort of found myself in a bit of a writing slump lately. Here it is almost a month since my last post and I seem to have writer's block. I started a new dream job in January working as a food stylist for Skorpil Photography and that has kept me more then busy. If I'm not out on a shoot, I'm buried in research learning more skills for the job. It's been a long time since I was on the job circuit and I could not be any happier working solely for Melissa Skorpil. But as anyone can tell you, when you have not worked for a while in the industry you love, you have to make a few sacrifices to get back in the groove. In my case, one of those sacrifices has been keeping this blog current.  Why this has to be the case I have no idea. I know plenty of talented folks who work full time, take care of a household and family and still write regularly on their blog.  It's just going to take some time to get used to, and hey, any of you wonderful multi-taskers that I'm referring to, please feel free to send me any cliff notes on how to do this!

So as I was randomly searching the internet for some inspiration this weekend, a site came up all about cobblers, pies and slumps. How perfect is that? I'm in a writing slump and I have a bunch of berries in my freezer. I love how the universe seems to spoon-feed inspiration when it's needed most. I have so much to share about my new job and that deserves it's own post, but for now I will share a recipe that hopefully will get me out of this slump, so to speak... I'm jus' sayin'!

When asking someone what their favorite cobbler recipe is, more than likely a plethora of answers will come back. I've found that it all depends on where someone grew up and the region they are from. The North and South play a strong roll in this category. Technically, a "Slump" and a "Grump" are basically the same. Grumps were basically a cobbler from the Massachusetts area. It becomes a Slump when you move over to Vermont or Maine. The recipes are essentially the same - stew your favorite fruit and then bake a dumpling or crust on top. If you have never had a cobbler, crisp, slump or grump, then the first one you taste will probably be that first one that will set the standard for you, both in taste and in title.

I've been making the same topping for my fruit since I was 8, when my Mom would give me fruit for my Easy-Bake Oven. It's super-simple and anyone can whip it up. It has more of a cake texture, which I prefer so that the fruit juices can get soaked up. Depending on the season, you can use any fruit you like. I try to keep a freezer full of various fruits, each one flash frozen when in season so that I can use it year-round for smoothie’s, pies, and slumps. This is also a perfect recipe to whip up with the kiddos because of the minimal ingredients. Gluten free flour blends work great with this recipe too.

Triple Berry Slump
*Adapted from 1968 Pillsbury Bake Off Dessert CookBook

Mix the following in a bowl. Place in a large casserole or 5 ramekins. (I used 4 large ramekins)

4 Cups of Berries - fresh or frozen (I used a combination of Raspberries, Blackberries, and Blueberries)
1/3 Cup of Sugar
1 Tsp. of Lemon Juice

For the Cobbler, mix the following in the same bowl as the fruit (easy clean up)

1 Cup of Flour
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup of Butter (softened)
*optional 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
*optional Dash of Cinnamon
*optional Sanding Sugar on top

Spoon batter randomly all over the fruit. The messier the better. Bake in a 375` oven 40 minutes for a whole casserole and about 20-30 for individual ramekins. If it's golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean then it's done. If desired, serve with a scoop of ice cream.