When I called my friend Jim Long this morning and asked what he was up to, he replied, "Up to my elbows -- in blueberries!" The harvest has come in and Jim and the rest of the crew at Long Creek Herbs were busy freezing gallons and gallons of blueberries. And although Jim's beautiful place is a good five hours' drive south of here, my impulse was to say, "Hold a gallon for me: I'll be right down." Love those blueberries.
Instead, I shared with Jim one of my favorite seasonal treats -- which I had just prepared over the weekend, so the recipe was fresh in my mind. This recipe doesn't have a name -- none of mine do, generally. (If you think of one, send it to me and I'll publish it here.)
K.C.'s Cantaloupe Thing
• 1 ripe cantaloupe (I had an organic one, fresh from the natural food market. Mmmmm...)
• 1 cup blueberries and/or ripe cherries, pitted and halved
• 1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces (yep, I used organic, fresh from the same market. Also mmmmm...)
• 1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
• Your favorite sweetener (I used turbinado sugar this weekend, but have also used honey, brown sugar or even jam)
• A few mint leaves (optional)
Halve the cantaloupe. Scoop out the cantaloupe seeds and slice a little piece off the underside of the rind so the cantaloupe is stable. Scoop out bite-sized chunks of the cantaloupe until you start getting into the rind (or use a melon-baller if you're feeling festive). Add half the berries and half the walnuts to each half of the melon, saving back a few berries for garnish. Dollop half the yogurt on each side of cantaloupe, then sprinkle with sugar. Garnish with mint leaves if you'd like, find a pretty place to sit for a while (I like to sit on the porch and watch as the pink light of dawn goes through its many early morning mood changes) and indulge yourself.
I defy you to wait until the coffee finishes brewing before you simply have to dig in.
I've varied this recipe over the years, using blueberry yogurt and raisins and various other adjustments as the contents in my fridge ebb and flow. Essentially, I think just about any fresh fruit plopped in the cantaloupe "bowl" will work. Whatever the combination, I think you'll agree with me, it's a great reason for summer.
Drop me a line and let me know your variations!