This blueberry dessert was a wartime main dish

On Memorial Day, we remember the sacrifices military men and women have made for this country. And behind every person in the service, there’s a family making sacrifices of their own.

Author Tracey Enerson Wood is one such person. As the daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-law, niece, cousin, and friend of active-duty soldiers and veterans, she has firsthand experience with the struggle.

“The lifestyle itself is very demanding,” says Wood, whose husband deployed to Somalia and whose son served in the Middle East. Wood captures veterans’ families wartime tales and meals in her new book, “Homefront Cooking: Recipes, Wit, and Wisdom from American Veterans and Their Loved Ones” (Skyhorse).

“Food just seem[s] to be . . . the glue that holds military families together,” says 60-year-old Wood, who is currently based in Stuttgart, Germany with her husband, an Army colonel now working as a military contractor.

She says being a military spouse means finding peace with uncertainty.

“When you kiss them goodbye in the morning, you don’t know whether they’re going to come back for dinner or that’s the day they’re going to deploy.”

The book includes stories dating all the way back to the Civil War, but many are from World War II, when rationing was required on the homefront. Telling such tales is especially important to Wood.

“These generations are a dying lot . . . and I didn’t think that [their stories] were getting preserved,” she says.

The book’s recipe for a blueberry buckle called “Summertime Delights” was provided by a farming family who would use seasonal fruit dishes as main courses during the World War II.

However, eventually, Wood says, “[Their] mother got a shotgun and taught herself how to shoot, and went out and shot pheasants or quail and brought it home.”

Wood says she has a sense of duty in sharing these stories.

“It’s Americana,” she says. “It’s a little piece of all of us.”

Blueberry Buckle

  • 2 cups sifted flour, plus extra for dusting blueberries
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside. Beat sugar and shortening together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy, then gently work in a beaten egg. Working in batches, alternate between incorporating the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter-sugar mixture. Toss blueberries in enough flour to coat, then gently fold into batter. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan. Transfer to pan and bake for 45 minutes or until lightly brown on top and small cracks appear.

— Recipe courtesy of Pat Brown, Redington Shores, Fla.

Source: Read Full Article