Saturday, August 21, 2010
I grunt, you grunt we all grunt for Blueberry Grunt!
Hot damn! Why did it take me 31 years to bother making Blueberry Grunt?! OMG! It's so easy! So delicious! So perfect! A bit of biscuitty goodness in a hot, sweaty mess of sweet berries. It's almost too good to be true. It takes about 25 minutes from start to finish. Go pick some berries, buy some berries, steal some berries from the supermarket-- whatever you have to do to get berries and make this dish! When I made it, I felt like it was a right of passage for me... another Nova Scotian woman knows how to make a grunt.
If you're not from Nova Scotia or don't have relatives from there, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about right now. Blueberry Grunt is a traditional dish from my home province and was made all the time by early settlers here-- possibly the Acadians. The Acadians call this Blueberry Fungy which I'd never heard of until staying with my friend Randy's family in Clare. Apparently it's also called Slump although I've never heard anyone call it that. It used to be made from apples, rhubarb, strawberries as well, but blueberry's the one that stuck. It's was traditionally eaten as a main meal, and has more recently become dessert material. Lately I've been keen on the main meal position.
Here's the recipe I used, adapted from a recipe on the Select Nova Scotia website which is, thankfully, a government website whose purpose is to promote local food; and the Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens cookbook compiled by Marie Nightingale.
2 c. local blueberries
1/4-1/2 c. organic/unrefined sugar
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 c. light spelt flour (or whatever you have)
1/4 c. coconut flour (if you have this, I urge to to try it)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. organic/unrefined sugar
1 tbsp. shortening, margarine, or coconut oil
enough almond milk to make a soft biscuit dough-- probably 1/8-1/2 c.
Combine the grunt ingredients and boil in a large pot on medium heat until you've got some juice flowing-- about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sift together flours, baking powder, sugar, salt. Cut fat into the flour mixture. When it's all clumpy, add enough milk to make a soft biscuit dough (not too wet! less is more!) Drop biscuit mixture into the barlin'* berries by the spoonful, put the lid on the pot and cook for 15 minutes with no peeking. Usually makes about 8-9 dumplings. Eat it warm. You don't even need a bowl. Get a potholder and eat it right of the pot if that suits yer fancy. Some folks eat this with ice cream or whipped cream. Coconut ice cream would be pretty incredible. Holy hell this dessert is fine!
Today I made some Blackberry Grunt (pictured above) with some berries I picked in the park with my friends the other night.
This grunt was equally mindblowing. Thanks, settlers, for settling in such a rad spot and being so handy with the berry recipes.
*barlin' is how some old folks from the area pronounce "boiling" as in "Honey, the kettle's a'barlin'!"