White Rabbits, Blue Berries

It is the 1st of July, the Summer sun has finally arrived; my bedding is blowing in the breeze and the farmers are out in force and cutting their grass.

Also finally arrived is my product shooting table, ordered from Amazon back in February. I was tempted to send it straight back, given that I no longer have my own space in which to work in. It seems an extravagance. However, it should earn its own keep once I get my jewellery onto eBay and I hope to be able to take good product shots for other eBay sellers on this island. I shall simply have to learn to take photos in the kitchen and to clear up immediately and then store my stuff away safely.

I am of the opinion that Aga news is long overdue. I am so happy to be back cooking in my own kitchen at last. An ageing cauli turned into Cauliflower and Smoked Cheese soup for lunch and I baked a batch of rolls to go with it.

Soup cooking on the Aga, rolls cooling ditto
Soup cooking on the Aga, rolls cooling ditto

Mr L had requested a Bread and Butter Pudding be made from the half loaf of Chocolate Chip Brioche that had been languishing in the fridge for far too long. I chanced on a lone punnet of blueberries in the shop this morning when I went seeking dried fruit for the pudding. No contest, thought I.

Six slices of Chocolate Chip Brioche, spread thickly with unsalted butter
Six slices of Chocolate Chip Brioche, spread thickly with unsalted butter…
...three of our ladies' freshest eggs and some milk and "cream"...
…three of our ladies’ freshest eggs and some milk and “cream”…
...the blueberries, a sprinkle of Demerara, and a touch of Vanilla
…the blueberries, a sprinkle of Demerara, and a touch of Vanilla

Real cream is hard to get here and so what might have been a perfect pudding had to be fashioned with Elmlea. It was tasty enough though! The Blueberry/Chocolate/Vanilla thing was inspired and made for a perfect balance of flavours.

The pud was baked in the bottom oven, with the top oven having been set to 230°C for the rolls. I had to put the tray in the top to stop the pud from over-browning.

The soup was pretty tasty too – just onion, a hint of garlic, sweated with the cauli and cooked in as little stock as possible then blitzed with milk before adding and melting the smoked cheese. I added some Cayenne for a kick.

Due to yesterday’s unusual heat I had turned the Aga off so this morning I set the top oven for the bread as soon as I had my shower. By the time that my dough was ready to bake we were fully up to temperature. I set one ring on at setting 3 at the same time as turning the oven on and was able to sweat my veg quite happily by 11 am. I turned it all off again after cooking lunch.

Can anyone tell me what Blueberries are? Are they simply a cultivated version of Bilberries or a different fruit entirely? They  taste very like a watered-down or insipid Bilberry. I remember picnics on the Derbyshire moors, picking Bilberries and taking them home to bake the tastiest pies ever – Bilberry and Apple (Bramleys, of course) served with some thick Bird’s Custard. I have not had one of those in many long years but once upon a time they were the best Sunday Lunch Pudding ever. This Blueberry, Bread and Butter Pudding is nice but does not even come close.

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  1. spinninggill
    July 1, 2015

    I remember picking bilberries on Blackdown in Somerset, and blaeberries on holiday in Scotland for stewed apple and blaeberries, cooked on the Primus.
    Are Bilberries and Blaeberries the same thing?

    • July 2, 2015

      I am of that belief. What do you think – do Blueberries even come close in flavour to the wild bilberry?

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