End of Summer To-Do List & Blueberry Crisp

Do you hear that? That whooshing sound is the wistful sighs of hundreds of kids, parents and grandparents. They are all lamenting the end of summer’s lazy days. Next week school busses will roll and bells will ring. Life will go back to normal. Or at least what passes for normal.

When we were kids there was always a mild sense of urgency at the end of the summer. Enjoyingthe lazy pace of summer vacation, we couldn’t get too worked up about anything. But still, we always tried to cram in one more adventure, sail one final sail and enjoy one last ice cream cone at the Grey House before summer’s end.

How will you celebrate the last week or so of summer? Just in case you need help and in no particular order, here are a few ideas:

  1. Visit one of the local gems. Sure you’ve heard about them, you just never took the time to explore. Wander through the gardens and along the wooded paths at The Fells or travel back in time in the Historical Society’s 19th-century village.
  2. Take a walk. Whether it’s the first time or the 100th, explore the flora and fauna at the Philbrick-Cricenti Bog. Or hike one of the great trails on the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway.
  3. Jump in the water’s fine and the tide is always high. Take up that challenge and swim to the island. Paddle into every nook and cranny for an upfront and personal peek at the lake’s rocky shore. Glide across the smooth, glassy surface at dawn or pray for a breeze and an afternoon sail.
  4. Pick blueberries with your kids and then bake a pie, cake or crumble together. Freeze the extra berries for muffins, pancakes and a taste of summer on cold winter mornings.
  5. Enjoy your home baked blueberry treat after a spectacular New England feast of boiled lobster, fresh corn-on-the-cob and thick slices of ripe local tomatoes.
  6. Find an old blanket and lie in a field or on the beach, identify the constellations with your kids and count shooting stars.
  7. Put the kids to bed and slow dance in the moonlight.
  8. Get up early one morning, sit on the porch with a cup of coffee, listen to the birds sing and read a good book. If someone wakes up before you’re ready for company, stay very still. With a bit of luck, they won’t find you.
  9. If it rains, sleep late and then spend the rest of the day in your jammies. Hold your own private film festival and enjoy a marathon of your favorite classic movies. Popcorn is not optional. If you start to feel housebound, put on your bathing suit and rubber boots, grab your umbrella and go out and play in the rain.
  10. Invent a new cocktail, something with fresh blackberries or blueberries. Sip it slowly while you watch the sun go down.

Enjoy the final days of summer and bon appétit!

Blueberry Crisp
Who doesn’t love Blueberry Crisp? With local blueberries plentiful, it’s the perfect time to get picking and baking! Enjoy!
Serves 8

2 pints blueberries
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Pinch nutmeg
Crumble Topping (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter a 2 quart baking dish.

Put the blueberries, lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch and spices in a bowl and toss to combine. Pour the blueberries into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the blueberries.

Put the crisp on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for about 30 minutes or until the berries are bubbling and the top is golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

You can also bake the crisp early in the day and warm it up in a 275 degree oven for about 15 minutes before serving.

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Pinch nutmeg
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup quick-cooking oatmeal

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and spices in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Add the oatmeal and pulse until the topping comes together in little lumps.

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One Year Ago – Death by Chocolate Sauce
Two Years Ago – Lemon Cupcakes
Three Years Ago – Couscous with Dried Fruit and Pine Nuts  

Did you suffer through braces in middle school and high school? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

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Feel free to visit my other, cleverly named blog, Susan Nye’s Other Blog, or photoblog Susan Nye 365. You can find more than 250 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more on my website. I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010


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