It has been uncharacteristically hot in Germany this past week. While I realize that it is Summer and it has been hot in many places, being hot is Germany is just not that enjoyable. Our house, like most, does not have air conditioning. It doesn't even have an internal fan system that at least moves the air around a bit. Couple that with being farther north and the sun can feel a lot hotter. As a result, if it is in the nineties, you can bet that it is going to be uncomfortably hot. Well, it reached the nineties during the weekend. Life came to a sudden halt.
Most houses have rouladens on the outside of the windows. These are metal roller shades that you can pull down to block the sun from entering the house. If you pull them all the way down, the room is pitch black. When we pull them down in our bedroom, we call it the deprivation tank - you could seriously sleep all day. For the last few days, if you drove around the area, most houses were completely locked down - trying to keep the cool air in and the hot air out. It was remarkable how efficient the system was but even so, the temperature in our bedroom made it to eighty degrees last night. Not the perfect sleeping temperature. Dear Husband resorted to sleeping on an air mattress in the cool basement.
Around midnight last night, the sky opened up and we had a fierce thunderstorm accompanied by hail. It instantly lowered the temperature and today, we are back to fabulous weather. Life restarted. I managed to convince Dear Daughter to forego some playtime and accompany me on a second blackberry picking adventure.
What a difference a week makes - especially when the sun has been beating down on those wild bushes. Within minutes, we had plump, juicy, almost overripe blackberries in our basket - just waiting to be consumed. Sometimes, you just have to be a little patient.
We are entering the final days of summer vacation. On Friday, Dear Daughter will meet her new teacher in her new school. Saturday is her first swim meet of the season and she has chosen to swim the 200 meter freestyle (a first for her), the 50 meter backstroke and the 50 meter breaststroke. Much of the veggies that I attempted to grow are gone. Today, I took advantage of the weather and made two loaves of carrot cake bread. Tomorrow, I will conquer that carrot cake jam. I know that I said that last week...but remember...life came to a sudden halt.
Today, it was Blackberry Crisp - simple and full of flavor.
|No, not the blackberry crisp - but a pretty picture from Brittany|
(Adapted from several recipes I found on the Internet)
4 to 5 cups of rinsed blackberries
1/3 cup sugar - add more if you need it
1 t lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 T of soft or melted butter
3/4 cup oats
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, carefully mix together the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice. Test to see if it is sweet enough. Add a bit more sugar if you need to. Put this mixture into a buttered baking dish.
Make the topping. Mix together flour, brown sugar, oats. Add the butter. Spread on the blackberries to cover. Bake for 45 minutes. Let it cool at least 10-15 minutes before serving as it will shrink some. Serve with either vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.