arlier this week a couple friends, boy and I all went to a farm outside of town to pick blueberries. This is one of those fun, cultural things I have wanted to do since we moved to the south. I think there are three typical views westerners have regarding the south: the poor white trashy part (which I have seen a lot of), the rich white trashy part (which turns out to be T-Town in a nutshell), and the cultural part full of history, romance, and charm. Sadly, that part of the South has been hard to come by in this college town full of privileged frat kids.
When we moved here I had dreamy eyed aspirations to find the romantic side of the south where we would eat good southern cuisine, drink sweet tea, go to a club and listen to that olde tyme blues. That kind of culture is thriving in places like NOLA, Memphis, and Atlanta. Tuscaloosa does not have a lot to offer in the ways of good ole southern culture, at least my vision of what I thought it would be. So I was so excited when we embarked on our own, tiny, cultural adventure.
I grew up sort of a city kid and all our dreams (boy and I) currently involve living in places with large, multicultural cities. But every once in a while, while driving through the country, I imagine how amazing it would be to live out there. Your closest neighbor would be half a mile away and you could go a whole day without hearing a train whistle, police siren, truck horn, or even a single car. Twenty minutes outside town, we arrived at the farm where you can pick your own blueberries for $6 a gallon. We were the only ones there. I guess not a lot of people go berry picking at 6pm on a Wednesday evening in the dead of August heat. We were a little late in the season and certainly did not get the pick of the litter. But at least 3/4 of what we picked was juicy and delicious. The whole time we were there I didn't see or hear a single car. An old hound dog wandered over from the neighbors to play with the farm's dog. It was lovely. Such a fun experience. Next summer we will definitely do this again, although probably go earlier in the season. So what did we do with all those blueberries? We made the most amazing, delicious, moan inducing blueberry crumble ever!!
Sadly, nothing remains of this masterpiece. We shared some with friends and consumed the rest as neither of us have much self control when it comes to amazing food.
As if you didn't think we were domestic enough, I made whole wheat bread from scratch. I have always wanted to bake my own bread and have only been able to master the lemon-poppyseed bread (which is amazing). I tried a couple years ago to make wheat bread at my parents house and ended up with two tiny loaves with the outer crust similar to a slab of granite and the inner meaty part the consistency of Alabama clay. It did not turn out well.
I have persevered this time with a dilectible, moist triumph of bakery! This loaf is perfect for Sunday morning toast, weekday PB & J's, and Tuna Melts!! Oh, the tuna melt...
*The amazing display cap above is by Jessica Hische, an amazing designer I came across in my perpetual search for awesome design and typography. The letter comes from her Daily Drop Cap project.