RECIPE. Aug 5, 2011

Molasses Blueberry Cake

Last Sunday our family got in the car and went on a mini road adventure to get blueberries. We had heard word that there was a local farm offering families the chance to pick 10 pounds of blueberries and take them home for free. Free? Blueberries? Sign me up. We expected laughter, we expected sunshine and we even expected a sense of accomplishment when walking back to the car with our 10 pounds of fresh free berries. What we didn’t expect, however, was the pure joy of watching our son pick fresh fruit right from the source. At first, he pounded fistfuls from the big blue bucket we were trying to fill. After removing the bucket from his reach, however, he turned toward the bush itself and without missing a beat plucked on right off and popped it in his mouth.

When you watch a child who cannot even speak reach out and obtain food from it’s direct source you realize just how innate it is in our nature to identify and obtain food. There is also something magical and mysterious about being out in an open field with the blue sky above and sun beating on your skin that is only intensified when you pull this little berry from a push and put it in your mouth.

I can only hope that the majority of my son’s experience with food is so direct and clear. I hope to watch him pull potatoes from the ground, split peas from their pod and dig carrots, radishes and beets from the dark earth. I want him to know where his food comes from, how it grows and how his actions contribute to his ability to feed his body, heart and soul.

While I am fairly confident he will be raised with numerous opportunities to participate in the growing and cultivating of food he puts in his belly, I also know he will crave or be exposed to food whose source and content is not nourishing but the result of industry and commercial interests and desires. I can only hope his body and his mind will eventually keep his interests rooted deep as the food he consumes.

When we arrived home with our 10 pounds of free blueberries I immediately froze a majority and then set to finding a recipe for our community garden potluck later that night. I searched one of my favorite sites and was excited about trying the combination of molasses and blueberries. The warning about this recipe is that it is heavy on the molasses, which I love, but understand it is not for everyone. Pair it with some ice cream or fresh whipped cream and I think it would be a crowd favorite. I personally, enjoyed it just as it was, topped with a little powdered sugar and warm from the oven.

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan (or equivalent). In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl whisk together the cider vinegar with 3 tablespoons of the milk. In another bowl whisk the molasses with the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk. Whisk the cider vinegar mixture into the molasses mixture, then whisk in the flax. Let stand five minutes. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until just barely combined. Stir in the coconut oil/butter. Toss the blueberries with 1 teaspoon of flour and fold them into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve sprinkled with powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice cream.