- getting glasses, and realizing that some kids I'd known for years had freckles
- racing through my weekly Basic Math worksheet, wanting, desperately, to finish first
- our class play - Tales from the Shtetl - and yes, I'm serious, and yes, I went to public school
- my one line in the play: "Men marry like that!" [snapping fingers on "that"]
- the next three lines after mine: "to a girl nice and fat/ but no man will wed/ someone who's under-feddddddddd"
Why couldn't we do Annie like a normal school?
Now I have a third grader. And a fifth grader. These kids are getting big, too. They're GROWing. They need more food in their lunchboxes, longer jeans to cover stretchy limbs, new cleats to protect increasingly athletic feet.
And they need cake, I've decided, after school. At least sometimes. Because really, I don't care if you're in third grade or fifth grade or 87th grade, if you've got to start school in August, in the languid days of summer, and go from soccer to piano to Hebrew, and from schoolwork to homework to chores, and if your mom makes you fold your own laundry, empty the dishwasher, and set the table, all for a measly $2 in weekly allowance, you really do deserve an occasional hunk of cake, with a bit of a crumbly top.
Recipe for Blueberry Buttermilk Crumb Cake
Here's a tender snack cake you can serve after school, after dinner, or after everyone leaves the house and you're sitting at your computer alone writing about cake.
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon each almond, vanilla, and lemon extracts
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut in chunks
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9" square cake pan generously with nonstick spray and line with a square of parchment.
In a glass measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and three extracts and set aside.
Over a medium mixing bowl, sift the two flours, baking powder and salt. Place the blueberries in a separate (smaller) bowl and gently stir in 2 teaspoons of the sifted mixture.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar in a slow, steady stream and beat 2 minutes longer. Scrape down the sides. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Turn the speed to low, and add half the sifted ingredients and all of the buttermilk mixture, mixing between each addition. Beat in the remaining sifted ingredients. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the flour-speckled blueberries. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
To make the topping: Whisk the flour, two sugars, and salt in large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender until reduced to the size of large peas. Squeeze handfuls of the dough together so it clumps slightly, then drop over cake batter. Some of the topping will still be powdery -- that's okay. Distribute it all over the cake.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cut in generous squares and serve.