A Relic: Blueberry Boy Bait

June 20, 2011

You know you’re a special person when I bake for you. I don’t bake for anyone, practically. Hell, I don’t even bake for my husband, and he’s a pretty swell human being.

But our sweet and faithful babysitter, Kate? I will bake for her.

Because let’s face it, a babysitter who never cancels and happily hauls your children around to God-knows-where and brings them home, several hours later, completely exhausted is  pure gold. Babysitter Lotto.

Kate spends most of the year at college, but she returns in the summer, much to our delight. The poor creature always looks a little startled the first time she rings our doorbell in June and we jump and maul and yeowyeowyeow on her like small, excitable dogs. And the most excitable of those dogs? Moi. For sure.

Kate turned (hack, hack, Holy Beejeezus this makes me feel old) twenty this past week, and the girls and I decided that a cake was in order.  Well, in truth, the girls decided that a cake was in order and I took off my curmudgeon undies and retrieved the flour out of the pantry.

I chose this cake for several reasons: a) it’s not too sweet, and Kate is one of those girls who visits the gym on a regular basis; b) it takes seriously only about 20 minutes to throw together and c) we are desperately trying to get Miss M. to eat fruit–any kind of fruit–and I thought that if I put fruit in a cake, we’d have a fighting chance.

Miss M., just like her sister before her, is going through the 5-year old Pickies. The 5-year Pickies blow.  As this goes to press, Miss M. will eat zero fruit. Not even bananas. Same for the dreaded veg, unless it’s fresh sweet corn. A sandwich? Forgeddaboutit. Hamburgers? Ewww.  If it ain’t in nugget form, it’s not passing her lips.

Can you feel the hair standing up on the back of my neck? It’s maddening.

A few things of note about this cake recipe…can you tell that it’s ancient? I mean, who calls something “Boy Bait?”  I grew up eating this cake, so you know it’s been around a while.  I don’t even know where the original recipe came from–my copy is scrawled on an old 9×5 card–but I think it’s a bake-off winner circa 1960-something.

Geezer Town.

But it’s a keeper. This cake is delicious hot or cold–I prefer it room temperature–and it’s good for snacking or a breakfast treat or sliced for someone who happens to think your children are adorable. Even when they’re in the throes of the 5-year old Pickies.

Blueberry Boy Bait

serves 12

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 c. chilled butter

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

1 cup milk

1 cup blueberries

2 egg whites, beaten

Sift together the flour and sugar. Cut in the butter (I use a food processor for this) until mixture forms fine crumbs. Set aside 3/4 cup of crumb mixture to use later in the topping for the cake.

To remaining crumb mixture, add baking powder, salt, egg yolks and milk. Beat for about 3 minutes or until well blended.

Whip egg whites until peaks form. Fold into the cake batter.

Pour batter into a greased 9×13-inch pan. Sprinkle blueberries over top. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the blueberries.

Bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

ps:  In case you are wondering, Project Consume a Blueberry failed. That minx picked every single berry out of her slice.  The rest of us enjoyed it happily.

pps: If I haven’t visited your site in a while, please accept my apologies. I spent most of last week trying to figure out what to do with Harryboy, who has suddenly decided that the world is his personal latrine. We’re 600 bucks in and after today’s appointment, we still don’t have answers.  He’s in isolation in a bathroom right now, per Vet’s orders, and will be confined until more test results come in. And with that news, I leave you, because every item in the house needs to be steam-cleaned.  I’m a little cranky with felines right now. *hiss*

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