During this time of intense political upheaval, peaceful protests, and solidarity among Wisconsinites, I have never missed living in Madison so much.
Without getting too politicky on my blog, I will say this: I've become emotional a few times looking at photos and videos over the past few weeks, and not just because I believe in the protesters' cause. To say that I feel a connection to the sight of the Capitol would be an understatement. I used to live two blocks from the Capitol building while attending college. I walked through the building nearly twice every day for two years. I laid on the lawn to look at the stars when I was blue. I could see it from my first post-college apartment kitchen window, just a mile down the road. And, Greg and I frequently visited the Farmer's Market (the USA's biggest!) that circles around it on Saturday mornings.
The Madison Farmer's Market is a glorious thing. Greg and I would go around 7am on Saturday mornings to beat the teeming throngs that show up by 8:30. While the produce is outstanding, we usually went for beef jerky and pastries. That's right--with coffee in hand, we'd eat salted meat and frosted, buttery pastries. Being bad never felt so good. My favorite pastry is from Oakhouse Bakery: Raspberry Scones. Greg favors Cress Spring Bakery, and usually gets a Chocolate Brioche or Blueberry-Oat Bars. Well, actually, he tends to buy a few of each and savors them over the week. :)
With Madison weighing heavily on my mind for awhile, I thought of those Blueberry-Oat Bars fondly. I remembered seeing this recipe on I'll Have What She's Having and being struck by the similarity. I stashed it away in my "recipes to make" file with a note that read, "Make this for Greg!!!!" And I finally did. And he loved it.
Blueberry Crumb Bars (modified slightly from I'll Have What She's Having)
-1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
-1 1/4 cup quick oats
-3/4 packed brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder (**I just realized I forgot this. Ah well. Still worked!**)
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (**could easily be omitted if you don't have it on hand**)
-3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Put all ingredients in a large bowl, mix with your fingertips or a pastry cutter until well combined and crumbly.
3. Press half crust mixture into an 11x7 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
-1/4 cup packed brown sugar
-Zest and juice of one lemon
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
-2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
-1 pound frozen blueberries, thawed (I'm sure fresh would be amazing, too...but it IS March..)
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice and zest, and butter together.
2. Add blueberries to mixture, toss gently till all they are covered.
3. Once bottom crust has baked for 12 minutes, cover with blueberry mixture and then with remaining crumb mixture. Press the crumb down gently.
4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. You really do have to let them cool completely (sorry!), or they'll fall apart. No joke.