Saturday, May 23, 2009

Setting A Man Trap: Blueberry Boy Bait

Okay, okay, once you see the size of the pan required, you may not believe that I chose this recipe based on the name and not the pan. But, really, when I found "Blueberry Boy Bait" in The Fruit of the Spirit: 100th Anniversary of Bittinger Lutheran Parish, I first started giggling madly, then started thinking that I hadn't watched Gidget or Tammy and The Bachelor in far too long, and then that I really needed to post this recipe.
Blueberry Boy Bait
Ethel Buckel

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 c. softened butter
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 c. blueberries
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add eggs. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Add milk, alternately, with combined dry ingredients. Pour into 9 x 13-inch pan. Top with blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes.
Despite the off-putting lack of serial commas, this is just a delightful recipe! I particularly like that instead of saying "1 3/4 c. sugar, divided" in the initial recipe list, they break it out for you, in order and volume of use. Some folks may prefer it the other way, but for me, a serial ingredient list is as important as a serial comma.

Serial commas: they're good enough for the U.S. G.P.O., they're good enough for you.

Back to the title. It seems like this is going to hav eto be something simple enough for a novice cook to whip together on her own (yes, "her"... I think it's safe to say that whomever came up with this recipe was pretty much trying to help a girl get her boy, though I wholeheartedly support boys using it to bait girls and girls using it to bait girls and so and so and so forth) without much supervision from her mother (yes, "mother" ... for the sake of the rest of this post, let's just role play and think that Mrs. Lawrence is trying to help Francie/Gidget to ensnare Jeffrey/Moondoggie -- embrace your 1959 teen romance). It should also be incredibly tasty. I'm surprised there's no vanilla or cinnamon to up the smell of the bait, but nutmeg -- so linked with pumpkin pie -- is going to bring a lot of good baking spice to the man trap.

We're in season for blueberries in the US, and I've seen some great buy-one-get-one-free specials at the grocery store. The pick-your-own farms around DC aren't open for blueberries yet; maybe later this summer I can cook the book on this one, with freshly-picked local (false) berries.

Even if you've already sprung a perfectly serviceable trap, why not try out the boy bait when next you need a 9 x 13 baked good? At the very least, file it away for Independence Day, where the blue will play nicely with some cut strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

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