We went to look for eagle feathers though we knew we wouldn’t find any. As with most things in life, it was more about the journey–the walk on the towpath, over the old train bridge, down the hill through the tall ferns and prickly vines, up to the tower where the eagle had lived. Maybe we’d go farther past it, all the way to the river, maybe we’d see the eagles flying over the water, looking for fish. We didn’t see the eagles, we didn’t find any feathers, the prickly vines scratched our ankles, but it was a wonderful walk. The wild ferns and flowers and vines are taller than me down by the eagle’s tower, and it’s a strange bright green world with narrow paths, some that lead into the woods, some that lead to the river, and some that lead up the hill back to the path. Under the staring blue sky, with small white clouds and grasshoppers flicking across our path, this felt like summer. Is it the dog days? Because we’re living like dogs, sun dogs, dogs of summer, here at The Ordinary, with no plans. We snooze in the warm sun, and wake to eat or run to the river for a swim, or chase wildly through tangled ferny paths. Clio is the leader of our pack, she shows us how it’s done, and the boys are attentive pupils. We’re trying to slow down the days, with our lazy ways, but they’re flying by anyway. Evening falls earlier, and there’s almost a chill in the air in the mornings. So we’ll follow Clio into the sunshine, and soak it up, we’ll store it inside of us against the cold days ahead.
You know what I’ve been making a lot this summer? Flat wide cakes with fillings inside. Almost like a gateau basque. This one had blueberries and chocolate chips. (They almost always have chocolate) I’ve made some with ground almonds or almonds and pistachios, and I’ve filled them with jam or other kinds of fruit. Sometimes they’re soft, sometimes they’re crispy like big cookies. This one was quite soft inside, and a little crispy on top. It was very juicy, you can’t turn it out of the pan or anything, because it will fall apart. David said it’s like blueberry fudge. I’ll tell you about the other cakes another time.
Here’s Summertime by Sam Cooke.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly butter a cake pan.
In a food processor combine butter, sugar, vanilla and egg. Process until completely smooth. Add the milk and almonds and process until the almonds are well ground and everything is nicely combined. Add all the dry ingredients, whizz to combine.
Spread half of the batter in the cake pan. Scatter blueberries and chocolate chips over but leave about an inch border all around. Using a large spoon, dollop the rest of the batter over the blueberries and chocolate chips, and then, with the back of the spoon, combine the dollops to make a smooth “lid” on the cake. If some blueberries or chocolate chips poke through here or there, that’s fine. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar (or regular sugar is fine).
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until the top is darkly golden and quite firm to the touch. The blueberries should be bubbling through a bit.
Let it cool, and slice. It will be quite soft and juicy.