Saturday, September 27, 2008

Buckwheat light

Lest you think I ignored or neglected a big part of my heritage, here is my post about the 67th Annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival wrapping up in Kingwood.

We almost didn't go this year -- things have been kind of up in the air since my mom's surgery. So we didn't enter any food or arts and crafts exhibits. We didn't see a parade. We didn't walk through the livestock exhibits. We didn't have family and friends over for our traditional buckwheat-cakes-and-sausage feed on the Sunday before the festival. My husband said he felt like it was too early this year but it always starts the last Thursday in September.

Here, in photos, are the highlights of our festival traditions and some of the new things we did this year. May we be better prepared for next year's festival.

We watched a lumberjack contest ...



... let Bella ride the carousel (for which we paid $3 -- yow) ...



... bought a chance on a handmade muzzleloader from a craftsman I wrote about, got some lollipops and candied nuts, bought my mom a wall hanging in the commercial arts and crafts displays ...





An interesting anecdote about these teddy bear suckers: They got their maker on "Late Night With David Letterman". I can't remember when but she had made a "ramp" version of the hardtack candy filler she pours in the teddy bear molds. Ramps are stinky wild leeks that grow in these parts in springtime.



Then we came home to a dinner of buckwheat cakes and sausage.



To make them, dissolve yeast in warm water and add salt. Then you stir in enough buckwheat flour to make a stiff batter. It looks like wallpaper paste or putty or something, kinda gray or beige. (Appetizing, no?) You let it sit overnight, covered but not refrigerated. In the morning (or the next night for dinner) you stir in sugar (always more than the recipe on the bag calls for so they'll brown right) and baking soda and more water -- enough till you get the consistency you want. That's the basic recipe but some people use buttermilk and cold coffee and I-don't-want-to-know-what. Then you save a cup of the batter (or whatever's left after you've baked all the cakes you want) as starter for the next batch and just add flour to it, let it sit and repeat everything. That's what makes them sourdough. Ever made friendship bread where you get starter from somebody and add stuff and it sits and ferments? Same idea.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pumpkin outside the pie -- and can

Two years ago I roasted a pie pumpkin for the first time. This year I made one of the recipes again. It is aptly called "Dinner in a pumpkin" because you bake all the elements of the meal inside the gourd. The filling is similar to that of stuffed peppers. You can serve right from the pumpkin and it makes a lovely presentation as the shell turns a lovely dark burnt sienna color.

When picking your pumpkin, steer clear of the big kind you carve jack-o'-lanterns from. You want smaller pie pumpkins from the produce section. If your pumpkin won't hold all the filling, bake it separately in a covered casserole dish. You can halve the ingredients listed here for 1 small pumpkin or bake it in two.

Save the pumpkin seeds to roast and snack on ... a recipe for that follows and includes variations.



DINNER IN A PUMPKIN
1 medium sugar (or pie) pumpkin
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups tomato juice
3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1 cup uncooked brown rice

Prepare the brown rice according to package directions before you mix it into the filling. If you don't, it will be crunchy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash pumpkin, cut off top, scrape out seeds (and save for making roasted pumpkin seeds).

Place hamburger in a large, deep skillet. Crumble and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain fat, add onion and garlic; saute slightly.

Add sugar, Italian herbs, salt, pepper, tomato juice and rice; mix thoroughly.

Layer inside of pumpkin with 1/3 cabbage, green beans and beef and rice mixture. Repeat layers, replace lid and bake for 2-3 hours.



GARLIC PUMPKIN SEEDS
Adapted from Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious magazine Sept./Oct. 2008
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds, washed of pulp and patted dry

In a small bowl, combine the oil, celery salt, garlic powder and seasoned salt. Add pumpkin seeds; toss to coat.

Spread all of the seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, stirring every 8. Spread on a paper towel to cool.

VARIATION: Roast pumpkin seeds by rinsing them of pulp, patting them dry and spreading in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Then shake hot seeds in a covered bowl with one of the following combinations:
salt, cumin and chili powder
OR salt, turbinado sugar, pumpkin pie spice

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Curried sweet potato dressing, squash cornbread accompany glazed ham

Wow. Tonight's dinner was special and awesome. I consoled myself for missing tonight's firemen's parade at the 67th Annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival by making a fully-cooked-just-heat-and-eat glazed ham with from-scratch summer squash cornbread and sweet potato, dried cherry, Madras curry and bleu cheese dressing. (That's dressing as in a casserole-style side dish that can also be used to stuff turkeys and game hens, not salad dressing.)

I'll get right to the recipes and photos. Yum!



SQUASH CORN BREAD

From Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious Sept./Oct. 2008
This recipe makes two -- one to eat now and one to freeze. If you're trying it for the first time, you can halve the ingredients make just one, as I did. I like that it packs in extra nutrition and uses up some summer squash.

5 medium yellow summer squash (about 2 pounds), chopped
2 packages (8 1/2 ounces each) cornbread/muffin mix, such as Jiffy
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup 4 percent cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place squash in a steamer basket; place in a large saucepan over 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, cover and steam for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Drain and squeeze dry.

In a large bowl, combine cornbread mixes and eggs. Fold in squash, cheeses, onion, salt and pepper.

Pour into two 8-inch square baking pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Serve warm or cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To use frozen bread: Thaw at room temperature. Serve warm. Yield: 2 dozen squares.


SWEET POTATO, DRIED CHERRY, MADRAS CURRY AND BLEU CHEESE DRESSING/STUFFING

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 slices hardwood smoked bacon, julienned
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder (from McCormick's Gourmet Collection)
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, onion, bell pepper, bacon, olive oil and curry powder. Pour mixture into an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake until sweet potatoes are tender, up to 90 minutes (Check at one hour or even 45 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool about 30 minutes.

Once mixture has cooled, add the dried cherries, bleu cheese, orange juice, green onions, salt and pepper and mix until well incorporated.

Makes 4 to 6 side-dish servings. Good with steak or pork. Can also be used to stuff quail, Cornish hens, chicken or turkey. If used as stuffing, decrease bake time to 50 minutes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

'Maters

For dinner I just finished a juicy hamburger with creamy mayo and a luscious, red, sweet-tart tomato I bought at the local farmers' market. A few weeks ago, my neighbor left a bag of softball-sized tomatoes on my porch. Two of them kept me in BLTs with mayo on toasted 12-grain bread for almost two weeks of lunches. The rest I chopped up for a panzanella salad.

I wish I measured when I made this but I don't. It just has to "look right". I add olive oil and red wine vinegar, a little chopped red onion, chopped fresh garlic and a chiffonade of basil.

This time, I chopped fresh tomatoes and seasoned them with a little salt and pepper. Usually I use canned tomatoes -- an excellent choice -- with their juice ready to soak into the bread, these tomatoes are canned at the peak of ripeness so they make this salad a hit all year. In fact, I have it in the spring before tomatoes are even coming on in local gardens.

I get some sort of Italian, French or country bread -- whatever looks good -- and slice it and toasted it to make it "stale". At Wal-mart I have found a log of fresh mozzarella that is prescored. When I dip up the salad into bowls, I tuck slices of it around the edges, sprinkled with a little black pepper.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A cooking show coming to your town?

Before Rachael Ray brought her cooking show spots to daytime TV on a network station, before the TV chefs became a celebrity phenomenon, the Taste of Home Cooking School's home economists and culinary specialists were taking their cooking shows on the road. They still are. One week from today I will be sitting in the audience at one in Morgantown, WV. One year ago I was onstage, helping make the show happen.
Newspapers and other sponsors bring the shows to venues in their cities. This one happens to be in a concert theater at a university arts center. National food makers sponsor the shows too so their products get plugged in the recipe demonstrations.
The home economists that present the shows travel a particular several-state region of the country. They come to town and an advance team of workers from the sponsoring newspaper help unpack their equipment, shop for ingredients and prep all the recipes they'll be presenting at that night's show. They chop, measure and sort so the host can show different steps of the recipes. There are lights and cameras to catch the action at the onstage workstation close up. The night of the show, more volunteers help on the stage and behind the scenes. They shuttle trays of ingredients and ferry dishes into and out of ovens and refrigerators. They complete steps in recipes and garnish final products. Sometimes they even pass samples. One year that I helped onstage I burned my arm and couldn't yell anything.
The shows are a lot of fun. Before you turn up your nose, you should know that even I usually learn something -- a technique or even just a fact. It's not all how to use convenience products. Much of it is from-scratch. Though there are different kinds of Taste of Home Cooking Schools and Quick Cooking On Stage is the one that leans heavily on pre-prepped convenience products. There are also different themes. The show I'll be seeing is Fresh Ideas For Fall. There's also Homemade For The Holidays appearing in other markets.
Besides the fun of seeing a live cooking demonstration you get goodies. Every attendee gets a bag containing a magazine with all the night's recipes and room to take notes plus many more recipes. There are often coupons and sample sizes of products. Sometimes there are little gadgets like some cheap plastic scrapers or measuring spoons. Local sponsors donate prizes such as groceries and mixers and coffee makers for drawings. Vendors such as Pampered Chef and Tupperware consultants, gourmet and specialty shopkeepers and sometimes nonfood related industries such as massage therapists set up outside the auditorium and give away more goodies.
I like getting ideas for quick dinners and impressive entertaining.
I'm kind of a gloryhound so I LOVED being onstage more than I care to admit. But this year, because I don't work for that newspaper anymore, I'm delighted to be able to sit back and enjoy the show and be eligible for prizes. The past couple of years they've given away the final dishes that were prepared onstage in a pretty serving dish from Taste of Home's home-party line.
New this year is the chance to ask questions of the home economist.
I hope you'll join me -- if not in Morgantown, then in spirit at a show near your own city.
Find a show near you at http://www.tasteofhome.com/cooking-schools/find-a-cooking-school. Tickets are reasonable -- about $10. Doors open a couple of hours before the show.
Here is an AWESOME recipe from last year's show that I've made several times. Mmm-mmm!

ALMOND CRUMBLE TWIST
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped slivered almonds, walnuts or pecans
12 Rhodes White Dinner Rolls or 8 Rhodes Texas Rolls, thawed to room temperature

Browned Butter Icing:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 tablespoon almond extract

In a small bowl, mix buter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in flour, almond extract and cinnamon until smooth. Stir in almonds. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Spray work surface with nonstick cooking spray. Combine rolls to form a ball and roll into a 15-inch-by-10-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest while almond mixture is chilling.

Remove plastic wrap and sprinkle filling evenly over the dough to within 1 inch of all edges. Roll up tightly, jelly roll style, starting with a long side. With a sharp, serrated knife, cut roll in half lengthwise. Turn each half so he cut side is facing up. Carefully twist halves together so cut sides can be sween. Pinch ends together. Place on a large, greased baking sheet. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise 30-45 minutes.

Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover with foil the last 5 minutes, if necessary, to prevent over browning. Cool slightly on wire rack.

Meanwhile, lightly brown butter in a small heavy skillet over medium heat. Do not burn. Remove from heat and blend in confectioners' sugar, milk and almond extract until mixture is smooth. Drizzle over warm loaf. Yield: 1 loaf.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Flavors of fall

I love fall. I love the colors and decorating with them. But probably most of all because of all the yummy things I can make from the harvest: pies, fresh whole hog sausage patties, pumpkin waffles, and much more. They warm my house and my tummy and my spirits. I started early this year and in the next few weeks I hope to share a lot of recipes and photos.

Here's a recipe for an apple pie I made a few weeks ago. I used apples of unknown lineage from the tree in the backyard. I usually use Granny Smiths but David's grandma baked from this tree all the time and I wanted to give them a try.



You might think they look splotchy but you must realize that Americans eat with their eyes first. If it doesn't look pretty and perfect and unblemished we think it has spoiled or is otherwise inferior and inedible. Not true! These are apples that haven't been treated with pesticides and so they bear the marks of growing unprotected in nature. I hope to make apple butter with them before the season ends. But for now, here's the pie recipe:



I LOVE this recipe from the Sept. 16, 2003 issue of Woman's Day magazine.

CRUNCHY CRUMB APPLE PIE
1 refrigerated ready-to-bake pie crust (from a 15-ounce box)

Topping:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick cold butter, cut in small pieces

Filling:
7 medium to large tart apples (about 3 1/4 pound) such as Granny Smith, Pippins or Greenings
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Have ready a 9-inch pie plate and a baking sheet. Place oven rack in lowest position in oven. Heat oven to 450. Line pie plate with pie crust as package directs. Flute or crimp edge.

Topping: Mix flour, sugars and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture forms moist, coarse crumbs that clump together easily.

Filling: Peel, halve and core apples. Cut in 1/8-inch thick slices by hand or with the slicing disk of a food processor. Place in a large bowl, add lemon juice and toss to coat. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl, sprinkle over apple slices and toss to coat.
Layer apple slices in pie shell, mounding them higher in center. Pat topping evenly over apples to form a top crust. Place pie on the baking sheet to catch any drips.
Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake 45 minutes longer or until a skewer meets some resistance when center of pie is pierced (apples will continue cooking after pie is removed from oven) and topping is golden brown. (If topping browns too quickly, drape a piece of foil loosely over the pie.) Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Foiling flavor fairies (repost)

It's that time of year when a swarm descends upon my kitchen and bathrooms, so I thought it fitting to repost this really good tip. Gnats, fruit flies, call them what you will -- my former colleague Mark prefers "flavor fairies" -- flit within my line of vision seeking something sour: drying towels, anyone?
My friend Diane Hooie, a bright, well-traveled and adventurous cook, told me how to trap 'em. This really works:
Pour a half inch of apple cider vinegar in a small glass and add two drops of dishwashing liquid. Mix well, sit it out and the flies will be drawn to the cup and gone forever.
I misremembered her instructions and added water to the glass. It doesn't seem to affect the potion's desirability as dozens of gnats have perished in a watery grave.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Great zukes! Cute flower-shaped muffins



I got this 12-cup silicone muffin "tin" for Christmas 2007 and hadn't played with it until recently. I was making zucchini bread and got the idea to scoop some of the batter into these molds. The result was adorable.



Tonight, when I needed birthday cupcakes for a church meeting, I decided red velvet batter would make pretty cake flowers. Because I couldn't top them with the traditional cream cheese frosting (you wouldn't be able to tell what the flowers are), I mixed up a simple powdered sugar glaze and dribbled it over the cooled cakes.



I displayed them on my Wilton cupcake stand. The flower silicone mold is by Pampered Chef. I don't buy (or ask for) all the kitschy tools but it's fun to have some little indulgences so I can do something special once in a while.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Peachy keen with ice cream

My fabulous foodie friend Katie e-mailed me a recipe for roasted peaches that she concocted. It sounded yummy, but I had no whole vanilla beans and I worried extract just wouldn't do it justice. I made it with a cinnamon stick instead. It was warm and spicy and quite good.



Here's my way and her way:

Cinnamon Roasted Peaches

6 peaches, sliced in half, stones removed
3-4 tablespoons melted butter
3-4 tablespoons cinnamon-infused honey
3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
cinnamon stick
vanilla ice cream
Whisk together the butter, honey and brown sugar in a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Add the cinnamon stick. Place peach halves in the mixture, turning to coat thoroughly, and resting cut side down. Bake at about 375 degrees for 25 minutes or so, checking for doneness. About every 8-10 minutes or so, remove the peaches from the oven and use a spoon to baste the peaches in the honey mixture. Roast until the peaches yield easily to a knife, but aren’t mushy, and the honey mixture is bubbly and slightly carmelized.

Serve with vanilla frozen yogurt, ice cream or whipped cream and more of the honey mixture spooned liberally over the top.



Vanilla Honey Roasted Peaches

About 4 good-size ripe (but not overly ripe) peaches, sliced in half, stone removed (use one or two more if they’re small)
1 vanilla bean
about 2 tablespoons honey
about 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
about 2 tablespoons melted butter

In a large baking dish, combine melted butter, brown sugar and honey. Whisk until smooth. Cut vanilla bean in half, lengthwise, and use the back of a knife to scrape the seeds out of both halves. Put the seeds and the two halves of the bean in the baking dish and stir to distribute the seeds evenly.

Place peach halves in the mixture, turning to coat thoroughly, and resting cut side down. Bake at about 375 degrees for 25 minutes or so, checking for doneness. About every 8-10 minutes or so, remove the peaches from the oven and use a spoon to baste the peaches in the honey mixture. Roast until the peaches yield easily to a knife, but aren’t mushy, and the honey mixture is bubbly and slightly carmelized.

Serve with vanilla frozen yogurt, ice cream or whipped cream and more of the honey mixture spooned liberally over the top.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sweet and simple breakfast corn muffins

I'm trying to encourage the women and men of my church to sign up to bring sweet treats on Sunday morning for the coffee bar instead of the same kind soul (not me) buying doughnuts or whatever every week. It hasn't quite caught on yet.

But today was my Sunday to bring the treats and boy was I swamped with work, work-related traveling and helping my mom. Still, feeling like I needed to be a good example, I whipped up something I already had on hand. It is easy -- 20 minutes start to finish. In fact, it baked while I was in the shower. And I thought it was pretty yummy -- a couple of other people said so, too.

Here is my fuss-free formula:

1 package of Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
red raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin tin that yields 24 mini muffins. Prepare the muffin mix according to package directions but scoop the batter into 24 minimuffin tins, Filling them half full.
Drop a scant 1/4 teaspoon raspberry jam into the middle of the batter in each muffin cup.
Bake at the temperature on the package for 8 minutes (no longer.)

Variation: Instead of the jam, you could stir in about a 1/2 cup dried mixed fruit. We had snack-size boxes of raisins, pomegranate "chips" and dried blueberries for lunch boxes and I stirred one ounce into half the batter and had about 10 muffins with dried fruit and 14 with jam.

Sorry there are no pics -- I really was in a hurry!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Blueberries



My family is fortunate that my husband’s grandfather planted eight blueberry bushes in his backyard. Now our front yard blends into it and our daughter often walks down and stands among the bushes picking and eating the fat blue-black berries till she’s full or bored. We don’t usually snack between meals but I don’t mind her grazing at the blueberry bushes.



Sometimes she will take an 8-cup lidded Tupperware measuring cup by the handle and pick alongside her grandmother, bringing home berries that I stir into pancake or waffle batter. Recently she brought so many that I made a pie. This year, thanks to their daily picking, we beat the birds to the berries. I’m not a berry pie or cobbler baker or lover (I don’t like the little seeds in my teeth) but I recently made individual (think cupcake-sized) peach “cobblers” – really they were more like pies – for a church bake sale. There was a berry variation listed so I adapted this recipe when I made my full-size blueberry pie.



Then our culinarily-inclined friend Shaun wrote asking for a cobbler recipe. My mom sifted through her recipes and I sifted through my own childhood berry-picking memories.

I remember as a child I liked the adventure of dressing in jeans and long sleeves on hot August days and driving to briers growing along a dusty dirt road to pluck blackberries – some an inch long and as plump as my adult thumb. I did not eat as I picked. I preferred to swipe bits of the crusty juice-soaked dough but I would not eat the hot cobbler as my family did -- doused with milk and sprinkled with more sugar. The base of my mom’s cobbler is a crust of biscuit dough to which she adds sugar.

With greater patience I would strain the juice of the seeds and make jam/jelly but I haven’t found the wherewithal to do that. But when cooking the berries for the pie recipe, I hate to see all that good juice going down the drain. Next time I’ll think quicker and save the juice, maybe mix it with simple syrup and try it on pancakes.



CYNTHIA’S BLUEBERRY PIE
A variation on Anne Byrn’s Peach Cobbler Cupcakes as first printed in “Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor” (2005, Workman Publishing Co.)

Note this makes a whole pie and not the individual cupcake-sized ones.

1 15-ounce package refrigerated pie crusts (2 per package)
2 heaping cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour plus cornstarch or tapioca if you want
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Unroll one pie crust on the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan.

Put the berries in a medium saucepan and place the pan over medium heat. Stir until they boil. Reduce heat to low and stir often while they simmer, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and the flour (and cornstarch or tapioca if desired) and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix into the berries and pour all into crust.

Put the top crust on and crimp the edges. Cut slits to vent. Distribute the cold bits of butter on top. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly, 16 to 18 minutes.

David made this for one of my early Mother's Day breakfasts-in-bed. I just made it for the coffee station at my church and they polished off all but a couple of slices. I used a stoneware bundt pan and I think it made the cake a little too dark. The recipe says to cool it in the pan and I think the stoneware held the heat too long and the cake continued to bake. It wasn't dry nor did it taste overdone but the part closest the pan and halfway through was brown rather than cream.



Blueberry Crumb Ring

from "The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook"
1 cup butter or margarine, softened (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 8-ounce container sour cream (1 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 pint blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch tube pan.

In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter or margarine and 1 cup sugar just until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add allspice and 2 cups flour; beat until well mixed, constantly scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Set aside 1 cup flour-butter mixture.

To mixture remaining in large bowl, add sour cream, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, salt, eggs, remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Beat at low speed until well mixed, constantly scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to high; beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Gently fold in half of blueberries.

Spoon batter into pan. Sprinkle reserved flour-butter mixture and remaining blueberries over batter in pan. Bake about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack; remove from pan.

MOM'S COBBLER CRUST
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup Crisco
3/4 cup milk

Mix the dry ingredients together. Cut in Crisco till it resembles small peas. Then stir in the milk. Use to top the fruit of your choice that you have mixed with sugar.
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