Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pairing for a Perfect Moment

I'm preparing a pot of tea and making popovers. Blueberry popovers. Not too long ago, I made popovers for the first time -unadorned then of any fruit or fancy additions- and was surprised at how easy it was. Simple ingredients whisked together in a bowl yielded the most delightfully airy pastries. Retrieving them from the oven, I gobbled half a dozen before realizing what I was doing. I did, however, manage to save several for E.

E and I eat large bowlfuls of blueberries nightly when they are in season. I see them heaped in plastic containers, arranged neatly at the grocery store. I eagerly fill my cart with the luscious berries, having only hazy ideas of what to do with them once back home. However, I'm not worried - there may be a limit to the number of blueberries I can consume straight out of a box. But as long as there are eggs, milk, and sugar in the house to enfold these berries into a batter -along with a working oven- I have no fear of the fruit going to waste. So yes, popovers enhanced by the addition of fresh blueberries to create a tea-pairing for my pot of the Ensi Spring Needles.

I clear the kitchen table to create space for tea. Magazines, books, and pens go on a nearby shelf. The table is now bare, like a canvas awaiting its first brushstroke of paint. A daub of nature. That's what it needs. I go out to the backyard and pick some flowers - delicate white petals surrounded by green leaves- and place the sprig into a small vase. My little attempt at ikebana -preserving the verisimilitude of the natural world indoors. I set my table for tea: a spray of flowers, the full teapot on its trivet, and my cup. The blinds are half-drawn, filtering a soft sunlight, and the cats are napping in the next room. I feel a gentle solitude and pour tea into my cup.

Recipe for Blueberry Popovers
(adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman)
1 Tbs of melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pint of blueberries
1) Preheat oven to 425F. Butter muffin tins and place in oven.
2) Beat together eggs, milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Beat in flour, a little at a time. Take the muffin tins out of the oven. Scatter blueberries on the bottoms of the tins and fill halfway with batter. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 15 minutes until the popovers are puffy and browned. Do not check them while they are baking in the oven. Serve hot.

No comments: