Can’t get enough berries!

I’m afraid my camera did not re-surface until yesterday when I finally had a moment to clear kitchen counters. I knew I had taken it away from J.E. and thrown it gingerly on the counter while elbow deep in some kind of dough or something, but I looked dozens of times the night I made French Baked Hash and it just wasn’t there. I proceeded to look in all the other usual camera haunts — K.’s desk drawer (it’s official home which it unfortunately rarely sees), the piano, my dresser, the dining room table… Nothing. I was beginning to think I may have somehow thrown it away with some trash on the kitchen counter. I mentioned this to K. but he was unable to entertain that idea given that it is technically his camera. All I’m saying is that if he buys me the $800 digital SLR I need (notice I’m saying need and not want — digital SLR cameras are a necessity; a vehicle large enough to hold all your children probably is, too, but that’s another story. You have to take good pictures…) I will leave his puny little camera alone.

Somehow I’ve gotten off track. This post is supposed to be about berries. I watched the Julie and Julia movie last week and then read the book this week (reviews to follow). I’m sufficiently inspired to try some new things in the kitchen again. Somehow, amidst my three picky eaters, I’ve gotten into the chicken nugget, macaroni and cheese rut. I used to love to cook. I think I still do. I just have to enjoy the food, enjoy the fact that K. enjoys it, and not worry about the three children who decided to eat just carrot sticks for dinner.

So I went to Costco for milk and bananas and peanut butter. That was all that was on my list. Well, that and half and half, because (confession time!) I never did give up coffee. I came out with those things plus strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. I have never bought all the berries at one time before. In fact, I’ve never bought blackberries or raspberries ever before in my whole 37 years of life. But they are in season, were a really great price yesterday, and I found this recipe I wanted to try…

The very first thing I did was to ask my extremely sweet hubby to put a few of each berry in a cup for each kid so everyone could try them. And then read Jamberry by Bruce Degen while they indulged. I’ve wanted to do this since A. was 2 1/2 years old!

First I can’t resist showing you a picture of all the beautiful berries:

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Then a picture of Dad reading Jamberry while the kids ate the berries plain and raw in all their glory:

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And a couple more eating berry shots just because I have cute kids 🙂 :

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And finally, to the recipe. It is from Cook’s Illustrated. I’m not going to type up the whole thing because I’m not sure about copyright laws and you have to be a member of their site to access this recipe. Basically, though, you just throw a cup of each of the berries together with a little sugar and pinch of salt, top them with a bread crumb, butter and brown sugar topping, and throw them in the oven for 15 minutes.

Before the oven:
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After the oven:
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Plated and ready to eat warm with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream:
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I thought it was divine. The funny part was that most of my picky eaters loved it. But my main taste tester, W., plus K. were not that impressed. Still, I think it was good enough for a dinner party — simple enough to let the true berry flavors shine through!

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