Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wild Blueberry Pie

My mother-in-law likes to vacation in Maine every year, and where husband and I live is a convenient near-halfway stopping point between the pine state and her Pennsylvania home. For the return leg of the trip, she has adopted the excellent habit of toting back huge quantities of wild blueberries for us to enjoy.
I am not kidding about the large quantities part: this time, she brought us a five-pound flat of wild blueberries. Delightful! Delicious! A great many of these still remain in our freezer and are gradually being whittled down as I use them for cereal and yoghurt toppings. However, I thought it best to enjoy the bulk of these blueberries in the fresh, unfrozen state in which God intended them to be consumed. By fresh and unfrozen, I don’t mean to imply unmodified … clearly, blueberries exist chiefly to be baked into pies.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apple Crumb Pie

Like many cooks, I find myself far less drawn to the kitchen during summer months. We don’t have central a/c, and our kitchen is ill-served by the lone wall unit that keeps the living room tolerable on the warmest days. This doesn’t usually bother me, but it does make one give pause before baking something like pie that requires an hour or so of oven time.

Husband’s favorite pie is apple pie. Despite the heat, and despite the fact that apples are just now coming into season (and I made this pie about a month ago), his craving would not be denied. I think I was promised a pony in return – husband, where is my pony?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I'm feeling a touch maudlin and sentimental, and that can only mean one thing: it's time for Tennyson.  I have no defense of the following poem except to say that I like it.  It possesses the virtues of my current mood (which is to say maudlin, sentimental, excessive, inflated).  It practically bleeds pathos.  My love for it flies in the face my (admittedly mild) convictions about what constitutes good poetry.  These convictions have never inhibited my affection for Tennyson, for whom such  grandiose locution was more-or-less standard.

One can, of course, defend this diction.  It's been suggested -- I want to say by Aldous Huxley but can't confirm it on the internet -- that this poem would be vastly inferior and far less moving had its fourth line concluded, "and after many a summer dies the duck." 

In Greek mythology, Tithonus was the beloved of Eos, goddess of the dawn.  Because of her ardor, she requested that Zeus grant him immortality.  Unfortunately, she  forgot to insert the vital condition that this eternal life be accompanied by eternal youth.