Because my family moved around quite a bit when I was growing up, and also (I like to think) since I tend to befriend nomadic, wild children like myself, many of my friends are scattered across the globe. Some are no farther than a few hours away (New York, New Hampshire) while others are farther (California, Israel, Japan, Ireland). At any rate, I have this dream that someday I will throw a party where all of them will actually be able to attend and meet one another (I think they’d all get along rather famously). I will serve sophisticated international cuisine and expensive wine and we will stay up all night singing and dancing.
In the mean time, the distance, the always-too-quick visits, and the dwindling number of people who knew me pre-marriage living nearby, really gets me down sometimes. There is no special remedy for this particular brand of heartache so I just apply the usual: long walks, comfort cooking and baking, old country music and blues ballads, and a little red wine.
Old Fashioned Molasses Blueberry Cake, from 101 Cookbooks, August 2009.
This cake is sweet enough for dessert, but also wholesome enough for breakfast or tea, especially if you use a 50/50 blend of whole wheat pastry and all-purpose flours.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (or a 50/50 blend of AP and Whole Wheat Pastry)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
5 tablespoons milk, divided (I used soy milk)
1/2 cup unsulphered molasses
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, barely melted (you can use margarine– I forgot to add this entirely and my cake still came out tender and yummy)
1 1/2 cups blueberries, frozen (I think fresh berries would work, but you might want to try using a half cup less)
1 teaspoon flour
Serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar (optional), or a big dollop of sweetened freshly whipped cream
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan (or equivalent).
In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl whisk together the cider vinegar with 3 tablespoons of the milk. In another bowl whisk the molasses with the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk. Whisk the cider vinegar mixture into the molasses mixture, then whisk in the eggs.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until just barely combined. Stir in the butter. Toss the blueberries with 1 teaspoon of flour and fold them into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about thirty minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve sprinkled with powdered sugar, or with a dollop of whipped cream on the side.
Serves 8 – 10.