mixed berry crisp

Monday, July 25, 2016

Potent Emotional Experiences That Deserve Their Own Definitions

1. That thing where you're at work feeling soft and feminine, and suddenly a virtual stranger comes up behind you and begins brusquely slicking your hair back into a severe french twist that you'd never in a million years choose yourself. You have no say in the matter, no mirror, and you will regard it for the first time along with millions of television viewers. Ah, showbiz.

2. That thing where you remove your son's diaper, and in a mere .0000000007 seconds, he squats and poops on his rug. You're simultaneously horror-struck and also deeply proud of his vocal development as he announces "potty" perfectly while doing the deed.

3. That thing where you race race race across town to (let's just say) kick ass at a Very Big Audition. The producers seem smitten. They say, "See you soon!" with winky voices and knowing smiles, then three days later your agent tells you you're out of the running. (Note to producers: maybe don't say, "See you soon!" to an actor that you plan on not seeing soon.)

4. That thing where the Rite Aid shopping cart receptacle is empty, so you're forced to alternately carry/wrangle your wild-animal toddler in a pharmacy line long enough to rival Space Mountain's. You put him down for two seconds and he knocks 432 things off a nearby shelf. You try as gently as possible to restrain him with one hand while replacing the 432 things. Meanwhile, he begins some blood-curdling screaming. Suddenly, you have a time-warp-matrix moment where you flash to see your present-day self through the eyes of the childless person you once were, judging the exact thing that you now are living. You have instant forgiveness/compassion for both versions of you.

5. That thing where you look forward to an MRI so you can lie down.

6. That thing where you're in an audition waiting room and a fellow actress takes a wig out of her purse and begins combing it with her fingers while whispering lines under her breath. You wonder: What the frack is that lady doing? Is she running her scene with the wig? Is it a prop? Is it her good luck charm? Is it another hair option she may employ in her audition? Is she crazy? Is she genius? Should I get a wig? BRB going to get a wig.

7. That thing where you're at a play date in a park with a new mom friend, and while her toddler is serenely watching a Roly Poly saunter up the bark of a tree for THIRTY SOLID MINUTES, yours is running perimeter drills and occasionally lunging toward the street, inflicting 20 heart attacks upon you.

8. That thing where you find someone else's booger in your pocket and just leave it there.

9. That thing where you tell someone in the park that they look like their dog and they give you a dirty look which makes them look even more like their dog. You consider asking if you can take a picture of them together but chicken out. Yet you still fantasize about posting the (nonexistent) picture on Instagram, complete with caption and emojis. (Twin dancing bunny girls for the win.)

10. That thing where you offer to make a dessert for a neighborhood dinner party on the hottest day of the year. It goes into the oven with no time to spare, so you're forced to carry the heavy, bubbling-hot dish with two potholders while walking 3 long blocks. You sweat like a beast from the underworld. The sweat is everywhere. The sweat activates a shame spiral that includes thoughts like why am I always running so late? and the inside of these goddamned potholders should be much more absorbent, and what am I doing with my life? The dessert turns out to be the hit of the party and you wholeheartedly choose to believe you pulled it off without a hitch.

Mixed Berry Crisp
serves 8
adapted from Sheila Lukins

This gal is a humble showstopper. She's easy-peasy to make, and even thrown together in haste she's pretty stunning. She'll do just fine with gluten-free flour and/or coconut sugar if you choose.

Berry mixture:
6 cups fresh berries (blueberry/blackberry/strawberry is a standup combo but have at it)
2 T sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 t cinnamon
juice of 1/4 lemon

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
fat pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup (one stick) very cold butter, cut into 1/2" cubes.

For serving:
vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350F and butter a 9" glass pie dish. In a bowl, gently toss the berries with the sugar, flour, cinnamon and lemon juice. Set aside. In a new bowl, make the topping: whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar and salt. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Pour the berries into the prepared pie dish and cover with the topping, spreading it out evenly. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 55 minutes, or until the top is golden and the berries are bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.


P.S. These days we need this ------------> A case for optimism


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