The last beach I visited, if you discount the ones I picture while blasting “Two Pina Coladas” with Mr. Brooks, was over a decade ago.
I recently returned from the Gulf Shores and was reminded of what makes those sandy waterfronts so desirable.
Although the weather wasn’t perfect, I could still find myself lulling into a euphoric daze from each soothing crash of the waves, become exhausted from a surprisingly short jaunt along the dry shoreline as the sand attempts to suction my foot with each bound and I could still feel pure freedom whirling around me as the salty breeze bursts right through my sheer clothing as if it needed no permission to expel the stressors from my body and mind.
I even got to do something I’d never done before- go out on the shore at night.
Pushing aside the suspicious tales of killer sharks and poisonous starfish that my boyfriend felt the need to share, a group of us bravely navigated our way up and down the shore by flashlight.
Quite the Sherlock Holmes, narrow-eyed and hunched over my flashlight as if it were my midnight magnifying glass, I stalked a trail of perfectly symmetrical, dime-sized holes seeking visibility on some of the crabs responsible for such shoreline aeration.
It wasn’t until I stopped for a long enough time that my eye caught a flutter of textures in the sand- the type of uneasiness when you see something move out of the corner of your eye but when you look there’s nothing to be found.
It turns out baby crabs were perhaps everywhere, guarded by Nature in camouflaged, transparent white bodies disguising them atop the sandy surface. We ended up finding one mama crab displaying a speckling of tan and black spots on her shell that also disappeared into the stippled grainy landscape.
Even if I had discovered a rare species of sand dune queen crab and even if I returned from my adventures with a tan envied by the most golden-kissed goddess, it still doesn’t seem to make the trek back to daily life any more tolerable.
As a matter of fact, I feel like doing less now that I’m home than I did before I left. Along with my physical return home, my sweet tooth has also arrived in full force. And you know what I feel like making?
So I go for the one bowl, one spoon, one pan recipes that will knock-my-socks-off…well, in this case I need them to knock them back on because I don’t think my boss will appreciate my flip flop campaign attempting to bring some beach relaxation to my desk aura as positive an idea as I do.
With the simplicity of summer dwindling away, I go for a delicious Sugar-Topped Blackberry Cobbler.
Scooping this satisfying cake onto your plate and watching the bold berry seep into the yellow crumb is as as calming a scene as the ocean slowly penetrating the sand castle’s walls on the beach.
The image of topping this golden berry-packed delight with something cool and sweet to ooze into every nook and crevice makes me almost, almost ready to face a day back at work.
Sit back, relax, and listen to the soothing sounds of berries dropping into batter…
Stir a floury shore with a milky ocean.
Add some sunshine for a brighter batter.
Allow berries to slowly sink into a sweet pool of liquid cake.
A buttered wave of sugary sand washes over each cluster.
Crispy, golden crust conceals something delicious beneath.
One spoonful and you’ll feel all other desires just drift into the sunset.
Upside down or right side up, this buckle is sure to stretch your belt at least one rung. Its crunchy, sugar-coated top crackles in to reveal its moist, purple-stained crumb packed with royal berries. Not overly sweet, this dessert is everything a blueberry muffin aspires to be but in blackberry form. Melty, creamy vanilla ice cream, although not required, is most assuredly recommended.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- 1 C flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 C and 2 T butter, divided
- 1 C and 1/4 C sugar, divided
- 1 C milk (I used 2%)
- 2 C blackberries
- Preheat oven to 375F. Generously grease a medium baking dish. Melt 1 stick of butter and set aside. Melt the 2 T butter separately and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add 1 C of sugar and milk and whisk this mixture. Add the one stick of butter and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the greased dish. Top with blackberries. Drizzle 1 T melted butter on top as well as 2 T of remaining sugar.
- Bake about 40 minutes until toothpick in center comes out clean. With 10 minutes to go, drizzle remaining butter and remaining sugar over top of buckle and then return to oven to bake.
- Allow to cool or serve warm. Enjoy!