Summertime Eats

Summertime in Maine isn't usually so hot. We usually get a week or two of good hot weather about the beginning of August and it's enough to last us until the snow flies. But the one good thing about the heat over the last couple of weeks is that it's made me appreciate all those summers I spent in the harbor. From sun up to well past sunset we roamed the harbor at will. We could often be found swimming at the cove or climbing on the rocks. It was a badge of honor if your feet were tough enough to make the trip back by the shoreline without hurting. We rode bikes and jumped off the dock and when it got dark we caught fireflies in a jar. If it was especially hot we would dig down deep in the ice cold coolers at the store or stop by a neighbor's house for a chance to cool off. But one of my fondest memories was when we would sit on the porch at Arlene's house and watch the boats come in for the evening. She'd make one of her wonderful blueberry cakes with a crystal coating of sugar dusting the top and blueberries that were both tangy and sweet.

On Sunday, hubby and son brought home a bunch of blueberries they picked up on the power lines. It was a wonderful bounty to have such gorgeous berries to cook with. The only stipulation was that I make one of Arlene's Blueberry Cakes. I gladly obliged.

The recipes is what I call a five bowl recipe. There's a bowl for the egg whites, and a bowl for the yolks, and a bowl for the dry ingredients and... you get the idea. The recipe I use is as close as I can find to Arlene's and it comes from my well used and loved copy of Cooking Downeast by Marjorie Standish. I've included it here for you... just in case you get the inclination to dirty up a bunch of bowls. It's well worth the effort.


2 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar (divided)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh Maine Blueberries

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add about 1/4 cup of the sugar to keep them stiff.

Cream shortening, add salt and vanilla to this. Add remaining sugar gradually. Add unbeaten egg yolks and beat until light and creamy. Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with the milk. Fold in beaten egg whites. Fold in the fresh blueberries (take a bit of the four called for int he recipe and gently shake berries in it so they won't settle.)

Turn into a greased 8x8 inch pan. Sprinkle top of batter lightly with granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. serves 8.
JUST A QUICK NOTE... Marjorie Standish's cookbooks are still available in print and are well worth the cost.

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