Blueberry Raspberry Crumble

Berry Crumble

This has to be the easiest dessert I make. We always seem to have frozen fruit hanging around for smoothies, and everything else is waiting in my baking drawer. I don’t really have a recipe, I just like to eyeball things, and it always tastes great. The key is to put the crumble on the top and bottom, so the fruit is sandwiched between layers of sweet buttery oats.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Soften 1 stick of butter in a bowl. Add 2 large spoonfuls of flour, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 or 2 cups rolled oats and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Crumble all ingredients together, if it’s too buttery, add more oats.
  3. Press half the mixture into the bottom of an oven safe dish.
  4. Spread a few cups of frozen berries over this layer.
  5. Sprinkle the last of the oat mixture over the top.
  6. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes.

Simple, comforting, hearty, great for breakfast the next day. This is one dessert I am happy to make again and again.

Beery Crumble

Lazy Sangria

Wild Berry Sangria - Glass

I’m going to confess right off the top: this is not my invention. I can take no credit for my friend Laurel’s genius creation, and only hope she takes no offense at the “lazy” moniker. I only mean that is easy to make (and to drink). Heck, even drunk people can do it.

For the version pictured above, we threw a bunch of wild raspberries and blueberries in a jar, and topped those off with some sliced strawberries. Next, a bottle of cheap red went in, home made will do. Add to that a bottle of prepared Sangria wine, I can’t remember which brand we used but I have to assume they all contain some wine, some booze and some fruit juice. When you’re ready to serve, mix that together with the secret ingredient- Orangina! Who knew this cute little bevvy, the one I ordered so politely on 8th grade French fieldtrips, would come in so handy later in life.

This combo produces the perfect blend of fruit, wine, booze and fizz.  It disappeared pretty quickly, and we started topping it off with more wine, some orange juice, and even a scoop or two of lemonade powder when the going got tough. As long as there is fruit at the bottom of the jug, you’re obligated to refill.

Once you’re suitably tipsy, play some sort of board game that makes people reveal what they really think. We recommend True Colours……it’s fun any time, but so much more so with a glass of Sangria by your side.

The Berry Bounty

Wild Manitoba Berries

Make-shift berry container full of the "fruits" of our labours.

Few things are more fun and tasty to me than growing something myself and devouring it. Case in point, my recent penchant for tomato and cheddar sandwiches, with tomatoes courtesy of my patio garden. Living in a city for most of my life, I’d almost forgotten that sometimes tasty things grow wild, waiting to be discovered by birds and bears.

Wild Berry Sangria - Jar

The berries soak up the Sangria.

Imagine my enormous pleasure at discovering mother nature’s gift to us on a recent cottage weekend in eastern Manitoba. I’ve never seen so many wild blueberries and raspberries. It was a reminder of what these fruits used to look like before we engineered them. The blueberries were so tiny, they were hard to spot, and the raspberries were perfect and so delicate you needed your softest touch to capture them.

Wild Berry Pancakes

Wildberry pancakes on the vintage cottage stove.

Braving hungry mosquitos and nasty black flies, we collected many cupfuls over the weekend. I think the cottage road was picked clean before our departure. These tiny treats made for several Sangria adventures and a stack of berry pancakes that rapidly evaporated from the breakfast table.

When was the last time a walk in the woods produced a bounty for your table? I very much enjoyed my reminder that there’s nothing more “local” than sneaking berries straight from the forest floor.