I must have somehow sensed it was blueberry season.
I found myself standing in the kitchen Googling blueberry cobbler recipes, searching and clicking and reading, trying to find just the right one.
I thought of my grandmother, who loves blueberries and who used to make an American flag cake each Fourth of July with rows of strawberry stripes and clusters of blueberry stars.
I bought two green cartons filled to the brim with berries, smelling sweet. I washed the berries and let them dry, then sent them tumbling into a greased 8x8 baking pan. They looked so pretty, just like that.
In a separate bowl, I combined oatmeal, chopped pecans, almond meal, salt, and cinnamon and swirled them around, then added a dash of maple syrup and coconut oil. I poured the crumbly mixture over the berries.
Into the oven the dish went. I let it bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until I saw the topping turn golden brown. By the time I took it out, the whole apartment had blossomed with the smell of sweet summer. I spooned a heap of warm blueberry goodness into a mug and added a little coconut ice cream on top, feeling so content and at peace.
There is something about the act of making my own food that brings such a sense of calm and joy. The therapeutic effects of cooking and baking are widely noted, and even though there isn't scientific research to show the connection, there could be many reasons why the process of making is so nice, including these:
- It's meditative. It brings us to the present moment. We have to think about each measurement, each step, and do one thing at a time, methodically. I like to play music when I'm baking and create a relaxing environment.
- It stimulates the senses. So many textures and smells. The soft feeling of flour on fingertips. A spare blueberry popped into my mouth. I take time to soak up the experience.
- It's nourishing. Choosing a nutrient-rich recipe makes me feel like I'm doing something good for my body. I get to zone out during the baking process, then bliss out during the eating process!
My cobbler was inspired by this recipe from Pinch of Yum. Let us know if you give it a try! Happy baking :)
Post by Kelly, a writer based in Brooklyn.