Wednesday, September 1, 2010

blackberry and apple

Friends to dinner this evening - and so I made blackberry and apple crumble for dessert. This wasn't unrelated to today's Memory class - we touched briefly on how tastes can bring back memories (more on that later in the semester), and for me, back-to-school time in what we, back in England, used to call the Autumn Term coincided with this dessert. Or, as one might say, pudding. Or, as my Yorkshire grandmother would sometimes have said, "afters." I self-confessedly love going back - to the classroom, anyway - meeting a new class (kicking myself subsequently for doing too much talking - can that really be said to be "meeting"?), getting us all underway, using it as an excuse to buy new notebooks ... and I was hoping that these blackberries and apples would bring it all back.

Only they didn't. It was a fine dessert - that wasn't the problem. Was it that they weren't real English cooking apples? I used Granny Smiths, which I wouldn't touch in England if there were large Bramleys available, but there weren't. The blackberries may have been too forced, too cultivated. I used honey (trying vaguely to be healthy), rather than sugar, to sweeten them. I know the crumble wasn't the real thing, because I had to use butter/olive oil spread, which was all we had in the fridge (and we have vowed a solemn vow not to go to the Highland Park Stop & Shop all year, because it's so dreadful), though the texture seemed fine. It was, I suspect, a combination of all the above: a near miss, a failed synaptic connection, an unfulfilled memory stimulus. Alas.

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