I don’t have a good memory; much of my past is lost to me. But whenever a summer heat wave settles in, I vividly remember the moment when I was picking something up from an acquaintance in the middle of a stifling city heat wave. At the time, we lived in an unairconditioned city row house and drove unairconditioned cars. Parked in the driveway, with the three kids crowded in the sticky backseat, I go up to the door, limp as a wet dishrag, and the other mother opens the door holding a potholder. A blast of cool air hits my face as she hands me what I came for, and says brightly, “I’m baking a blueberry pie!”
The envy I felt at that moment! Not about the pie – I don’t particularly like blueberry pie – but because I wouldn’t have even been able to THINK of baking in that heat wave.
So whenever I turn on the oven in the summertime now (still rarely!) I think of that moment of sharp envy and give our hardworking little window unit a loving pat.
We had fresh raspberries from the garden and had eaten many of them straight already, so I decided to bake something with them to take to a Fourth of July cookout this past week. I checked a few other cookbooks first, not sure what I wanted to make, but for easy baking and eating, you can’t beat bar cookies. When I saw a recipe in The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion for Summer Berry Crumble Bars, I knew that was perfect. I had exactly three cups of berries on hand and that was what the recipe called for.
The Baking Unlimited blog has posted the recipe for Summer Berry Crumble Bars made with blueberries. I also see there is a similar, gluten-free recipe for Raspberry Almond Bars on the King Arthur Flour blog that I might try if we do a gluten-free cookout this summer.
By the way, if you know anyone in the NYC area with celiac or who follows a gluten-free diet, check out this Celebrate Celiac ticket giveaway for an event on July 13th.