Soccer woes and Blueberry-Peach Cornmeal Cake

“I hate soccer, Mama.  I don’t like the ball, I don’t like the net and I don’t like my coach!”  Madeleine proclaimed after her first soccer game.


“Just so we’re clear,”  I said, “You love soccer.”

“Go away, Mama.”

Hi there!  I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  The weather here was perfect to sit on the grass as my kids (begrudgingly) played their first soccer game.  Each class was an hour and with all that running, they were wiped out afterward.  Luke seemed to want to be competitive when they started the class, but as the hour ticked by I watched as he lollygagged behind the pack of kids trying to gain control of the ball.  Then he sat on the blanket with me and ate his lunch while his sister played and kept asking me to get off the blanket so he could set up his trains – which he brought in his enormous backpack.

No, it’s fine.  I don’t even need a blanket.  I’ll just sit on the goose crap scattered over the field.

When it was Madeleine’s turn, she kept running over to me and asking for food (since she knew I’d packed lunch).

They are going to play the 7 remaining classes which I paid for.  I may not be raising athletes but I’m also not raising quitters.

This weekend I found myself with extra energy (unusual) so on Sunday I decided to open my Smitten Kitchen cookbook and bake a cake.  I noticed that Deb Perelman doesn’t have the Blueberry-Cornmeal cake on her website, only in the book, so I’m not able to share it here but I recommend buying her book.  (I’ve found other blogs that share the recipe – which you can easily google – but I don’t feel right about exploiting her hard work to get you to read my blog.  Feel free to check out those other blogs if you like, but if you do get the book you won’t be disappointed.)  The recipes are cozy and satisfying and approachable to even an inexperienced cook.

I added peaches along with the blueberries and I increased the salt by 1/4t and doubled the lemon zest.


Let’s just say…I love myself.  And I guess I love Deb, too.  It’s so good!  I used coarse-ground cornmeal and everybody around here liked the extra crunch and corn flavor that it added to the cake.  It’s versatile enough that you could omit the berries altogether and stir in chopped, toasted almonds.  Or just make it completely plain and it can be a rich cornbread.  Throw in some frozen corn while you’re at it.  Endless possibilities.


And…wait for it…figs are in season!  It’s a fleeting relationship, me and figs.  Why can’t I live in California – land of figs-o-plenty?! 

Uhem.  Anyway, I made figs stuffed with gorgonzola and pine nuts.  Tell me you’ve had these before.

There’s really no recipe to it…

Slice the figs in half lengthwise, scoop the centers out with a small melon baller and throw the flesh into a bowl.  Add gorgonzola, pine nuts, black pepper, pinch of salt and anything else you’d like (parsley? pancetta?).  Now mash that up with a fork and spoon back into the hollowed out figs.  Roast at about 425F until bubbly and golden.  You can also speed up the process and broil them, but watch them closely so they don’t burn.

IMG_8508Pure delight.  I’m sure you’ve had them before but I enjoy them so much that I had to tell you.

This entry was published on September 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm. It’s filed under Baking, Kids and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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