This morning was one of those ironically perfect mornings. I spent my first waking hours sitting quietly in my bedroom reading an inspiring art book and welcoming the morning sun streaming into my back bedroom window. I was fully awake and refreshed, spirit fed, when the boys awoke and I lay and cuddled with them in their beds for a few minutes. I even had this home-baked gorgeous seasonal berry crisp for breakfast, eaten directly from the pie dish with a spoon.
So why is it ironic? First of all, last night we had eight high school boys gleefully comandeering our t.v.s to have an all night video game fest. This morning every corner of my family room was strewn with sprawling almost-man bodies, groggy from their two hours of sleep. The bass rhythm of rock band was pounding through my bedroom wall until the wee hours. I stayed up late and slept with earplugs in. A few hours later I was awakened by Tyler yelling down the stairs for Mommy, so I jumped up and ran to him to keep him from waking the guys at such an ungodly hour as 5:30 is to a teenager. “I thought we were going surfboarding,” Tyler told me groggily before settling back into bed for another two hours. But by that time I was fully awake.
My first instinct was to be annoyed with both husband and son for getting me to bed so late and waking me up so early, respectively. I think it’s only God’s gentle nudging that brought me to realize it was early morning…my favorite time of day. The house was quiet…a rare occasion. I had an inspiring book…one of my favorite pasttimes. This morning was a gift. Thank you, Lord, for helping me see it that way and take advantage of it.
And as for the berry crisp, it is my favorite treat these days. Here is the recipe:
Summer Fruit Crisp
Cook’s notes: You will want to use a wide dish for this recipe so the filling can spread out in a shallow layer, which allows more water (from the fruit) to evaporate. (The original recipe calls for 3/4 c of almonds in the topping. I found that I liked it better without. According to the authors, “almonds are the first choice to complement the combination of nectarines and boysenberries, but walnuts or hazelnuts also work well.”)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 3-quart baking dish (see cook’s notes).
2. Prepare topping: Mix flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add butter and toss until evenly coated. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs. (Alternatively, you can put the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly, then transfer to a bowl and squeeze the mixture between your fingers to make crumbs.) Add the almonds and mix gently; try not to break the almond slices. Put the topping in the freezer while you prepare the fruit filling.
3. Prepare fruit filling: Rub the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl. Add nectarines and boysenberries, toss until evenly coated, then gently stir in the vanilla.
4. Pour the fruit into prepared baking dish and scatter topping over the fruit. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling. Cool for 30 minutes before serving, topped with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. Wrapped in plastic wrap, the crisp will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 325-degree oven for 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from the source:“Rustic Fruit Desserts” by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson (Ten Speed Press, $22)