Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

These blueberry crumb bars with oats and almonds are a perfect bake sale recipe and our favorite way to use up summer blueberries.

Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

A few years ago while we still lived in Brooklyn, Matt and I belonged to a CSA. If you’re not familiar with it, CSA stands for ‘community supported agriculture’. The gist of it is that you pay in advance for a ‘share’ of what the farm produces.

It helps the farmers because they get money in advance so they can better finance their year, and the customer gets a weekly (or bi-weekly) supply of the freshest, just-off-the-farm produce.

Of course, by investing in the farm’s potential, you also share some of the risks. If there’s a flood, or a blight, or a generally low yield of crop that season, you might not get as many tomatoes as you’d like and you just have to channel your inner hippie and roll with it, man. What’s more likely though, is that you’ll end up with way more of a certain fruit or vegetable than you know what to do with. And that’s when you have to get creative.
Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

There was one week during our CSA that we received more blueberries than I had ever seen in my life outside of a grocery store. It was a huge box of them. We had them on yogurt and on cereal. I made blueberry syrup. Matt made a crumble. And still we had more. And then I made Blueberry Oat Bars with the rest and kicked myself for not making them sooner because they were the best thing ever. They’re not so sweet that you’d feel guilty having one for breakfast but they have that crunchy, nutty topping that is such a treat.

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Blackberry-Ginger Fizz

A blackberry ginger fizz is a great cocktail for using up your late summer blackberry haul. Add ginger beer and elderflower and enjoy!

Blackberry Ginger Fizz

There are times in every person’s life when you have to make the hard decisions. When you find yourself at a crossroad. Do you turn left or right? Recently I was faced with one of those decisions. My own personal King Solomon’s choice, except if the baby was a blackberry. A lovely little blackberry.

Here’s how it began. It was an ordinary Sunday morning, unseasonably a little chilly but nice enough for a stroll. Matt and I headed to the Beacon Farmer’s Market, where we often buy our produce supplies for the week.

We usually get there on the early side, a half an hour or so after they open, but this particular Sunday we dragged our feet a little. We were tired, you see. I won’t bore you with the details but we’re in the process of trying to buy our first house and the stress of it had begun to take its toll. For the last month or so, pretty much every night, one or the other of us (sometimes both) will leap out of bed at 3:30 in the morning, convinced beyond all reason that this whole thing is a HUGE mistake.

Or that house we love? A MONEY PIT!

Or there is NO WAY a bank will actually give us a loan. Do they KNOW how bad our jokes are? [Matt is on the phone with the bank right now – apparently, they do.]

So we were tired and slow and showed up at the market late, after the majority of the stalls had been picked clean. Corn? Sold out by noon. Eggplants?  All gone. Sungold tomatoes? Don’t make me laugh.

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Rhubarb Curd Tartlets with Whipped Mascarpone and Berries

Rhubarb Curd Tartlets with Mascarpone Cream and Berries

So you’ve made a batch of delicious Rhubarb-Lemon Curd. Well done, sir or lady! Now I suppose you want to know what you can do with it (other than devour it slathered on toast or Pound Cake, or, let’s be honest, from a spoon straight out of the jar). [Matt says: “What’s wrong with that?” Actually, he has a spoonful of rhubarb curd in his mouth at this very moment, so it’s more like “Mwro rong wiwa?”]

These are all perfectly respectable options but if you really want to step it up a notch, you could use it as a filling in a tiny little tart, slather it with whipped vanilla-flecked mascarpone cream and top it with beautiful, local, peak-season berries.

To me, these beauties just scream “Summer!” as well as “July 4th!” and also, “Eat me quick, before anyone knows you made me!” (also, “Our deep orange egg yolks turned the curd into an unfortunate beige hue, so whipped cream and berries are a perfect and delicious disguise”). Very long-winded tarts, these.

Rhubarb Curd Tartlets with Whipped Mascarpone and Berries

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