So my blog’s birthday came and went. I was never the type of person to bake my blog a cake (although I think it’s awesome that some of you do) but I have to say, I was surprised when I realized the other day that it’s been just over a year since I started. How’d that happen?
Birthdays are cool for a few reasons. First and most importantly, cake. Second, cards and family and friends and a check from your grandma. If you’re a member of my family and you happen to be home at the time, you get to wear the beat up, pink glittery birthday crown. That thing’s been around the block. Let me tell you. But the other cool think I notice as I get older is the element of reflection when birthdays roll around–thinking about the past year and how you want the next year to pan out.
I began A Sweet Spoonful never having published a piece of writing but always wanting to. I started it late one night on a complete whim figuring at least it was one place where I’d see my work in print. Now, one year later, I’d call myself a writer. I started out with small local publications, peeing my pants with each acceptance letter and now you can occasionally find me in national rags and, if you flew Frontier this winter, you saw me in your trusty in-flight magazine. I talked about fried chicken and grits and all my friends who read it had a good chuckle.
What else happened? I made some amazing blogging friends. Have you met her or her or her? How about her? I sold my little cream-colored Vespa and regret that I did. I baked my first ever yeasted loaf of bread, fell in love with Seattle, traveled to China, and saw my youngest sister graduate from college. One of my best friends was killed in an accident and I learned what mourning is. I flew to Boston to dance my booty off on her would-be 30th birthday. I made jam. I rented two U-Hauls, switched jobs, and bought a used gray VW rabbit that does the trick. I was dumped, cried for weeks and didn’t really sleep, hid at my mom’s house, came out of it all alive and kickin’ and realizing I’m so much better because of it. I went to a few photography conferences and started taking lots of photos. Almost daily. I visited many a restaurant and bakery, taught a class on blogging, and discovered Pimm’s. And soup dumplings. And radishes and butter.
So what’s next? That list above? I could’ve never in a million years predicted 95% of it. I encourage you to make a quick list of your past year. Even if it’s not your blog’s birthday or your real birthday–just because. Just because it’s a quiet weekday summer evening and it’ll make you feel kind of rad, I think. I’m so grateful for this blog and for all of you who show up, actually read the darn thing, and occasionally comment. Hallelujah. You know some of the sad stuff up there on that list above? This blog helped me get through that. Your comments helped push me along. You’ve held me accountable to bake, to spend more time in the kitchen, to write, to think critically about books and movies and the world around me. I’m so grateful for that and for you. Really.
So instead of cake today, we have a buckle. Remember when I introduced you to slump? Well, here’s a remote cousin. I love this thing. Not everyone eats it for breakfast, but today I’m deeming it o.k. A buckle is essentially an old fashioned single-layer cake with berries poured into the batter. The berries generally sink to the bottom and the top of the cake “buckles” a bit. This recipe is made a little differently with berries and oats scattered on the top as well. Double whammy.
This buckle is made with buttermilk and oat flour, and bakes up surprisingly light with a browned, crisp top. I mixed up some Greek yogurt and a little agave for the top. Breakfast is seriously served.
Blueberry Breakfast Buckle
Adapted From: Rustic Fruit Desserts
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature, for pan
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (7.5 oz)
1/2 cup oat flour (2 oz)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 oz)
1 cup granulated sugar (7 oz)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 dry pint blueberries (2 1/2 cups or 9 oz), fresh or frozen
1/4 cup rolled oats (3/4 oz)
2 Tbsp. turbinado sugar (or brown sugar) for topping
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. agave or honey
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar together on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Then stir in the vanilla. Next, stir in the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the buttermilk in two additions. Essentially, you want to begin and end with the dry ingredients and scrape down the bowl a few times as you go.
Fold in half of the blueberries and spread the batter into the prepared pan. Distribute the remaining blueberries over the cake, then sprinkle the oats and turbinado sugar over the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and firm to the touch. Stir yogurt and agave together in a small bowl and set aside in refrigerator. Let buckle cool.
To serve, spoon a dollop of yogurt over cake and drizzle a little extra agave if you’d like. Buckle will be good for 2 days if stored in plastic wrap at room temperature.
Makes: 8-12 servings