|close, but not quite|
Some years ago, I made an unbaked blueberry pie that involved cooking some of the berries with sugar and cornstarch on the stovetop to create a sweet, semisolid "sauce" into which you folded the rest of the berries. You poured the filling into a pre-baked crust and chilled for a few hours before serving. The uncooked berries retained their freshness and pop, while the "sauce" bound them together and it was the best blueberry pie I'd ever eaten, skirting two common problems with summer fruit pies: soggy crust and heavy, supersweet filling that tastes neither fruity nor summery.
But I couldn't remember where this stellar recipe came from and I looked and looked and finally gave up and made a blueberry glace pie from The Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis that looked very similar. It's delicious, but the proportion of fresh berries to cooked seems too high. This recipe looks about right and next time I crave blueberry pie, I'll try it.
Now I will tell you about the dress.
This is the first item I have ever bought on ModCloth. I appreciate how one user review of the dress says, "perfect for small busted ladies." True!
I have to be careful with ModCloth because the clothes are very youthful and I am not. But I think this dress looks like something a mature woman might have worn to an afternoon party in the 1950s. Mrs. Cunningham on Happy Days? A nosy neighbor lady in a Douglas Sirk melodrama?
Since my grandmother likes it when my sister and I "make an effort," I made an effort and wore the dress for the first time on the 4th of July. She looked me up and down and said, "Mark is gone this week? I hope you're behaving." Like I've been going to martini bars and letting strange men light my cigarettes.
This is how I knew she liked the dress. This is my grandmother's language.
I whipped cream for the pie and then my grandmother, Stephanie (my aunt), and I sat around the kitchen table and ate blueberry pie and talked for several hours. We talked about family members who died in 1932 and family members who were born three years ago. We talked about people we know who have a touch of OCD (discretion!) and people who could use a touch of OCD (Owen). We talked about boys who chased my mother in high school, female friends who wronged her, children who used to swim with my cousins and me at the Beauvoir pool circa 1976, and about my lovely, lovely grandfather, whom we all miss. I am starting to tear up as I write this. I don't have a mother, but I still have an aunt and grandmother and sitting around the table with them was like taking a long, deep drink at the well when I hadn't even known I was thirsty. It was the perfect 4th of July.
Toward the end of the afternoon, Stephanie said, "Let's go out to dinner!"
But I had to drive home and lock the chickens in their house before the skunks came out for the night and I had to feed the obnoxious goats before they started eating the fence and as I stood up to leave, I resented those animals with every fibre of my being.
I kissed my grandmother good bye. "That is a very beautiful dress," she said. "Poor Mark. I hope you're going straight home."
Like I had any choice.