In celebration of Memorial Day weekend, #SundaySupper is celebrating with Red White and Blue dishes. You'd think this would be an easy one, right? I mulled around a bunch of ideas for almost two weeks. Should I make strawberry shortcake? Or blueberry pie? Then my mind drifted while I pulled out recipes for meringues with berries, and then pavlovas with berries. Too time-consuming, I decided. So I shot into the opposite direction with smoothies. Which of course led to ice cream. The more options I thought of, the harder it became to make a simple decision.
I do that sometimes.
Right now my husband and I are in early stages of redoing our backyard. We're looking at decking materials – with a surprising number of options to choose from, and trying to decide if we should go with field stone or interlocking systems made of composite materials for some short retaining walls. Do we need mortar? Cement footers? Should we make them so people can sit on them? Can we eliminate some of the existing walls? Ack!!! The only easy decision so far has been to rip out the grass and replace it with turf grass. With a puppy on board and a drought that seems to have no end, it seems the best solution on all fronts.
Through all of this, I'm driving my husband nuts. He'll think we've finally made a decision, and start to marshall all his energy in that direction with no small relief. Until I say, “Honey, I'm not sure I'm going to like how the ______ (fill in the blank) looks. It might have looked great at our last house, but I'm not sure now that I'd like it with this house. Let's consider ________ (fill in the blank with either a much more expensive or much harder to maintain idea) instead.” And I'm off and running to research these New Ideas, with my husband trying in vain to lasso me back to The Original Idea.
Back to food, I ultimately decided on a crumble for our Red White and Blue theme – it's casual enough for a BBQ, easy to eat while milling around a gathering of friends and family, good enough to want to stash a bunch at home before taking the rest to the party. The decisions on the back yard, unfortunately, will take longer.
- I buy Crystallized Ginger Chips by The Ginger People, but you can use any candied ginger and coarsely chop.
- You can toast your own unsweetened coconut, or do what I do. I buy Toasted Coconut Flakes, Unsweetened by Let's Do…Organic.
Strawberry Oat Crumbles
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp corn starch
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped unsweetened toasted coconut flakes see Cook's Notes
- 2 Tbsp candied ginger chips see Cook's Notes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 sticks 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Heat the oven to 350° F, and line the bottom of an 8” X8” baking pan with foil.
- Combine the berries, lemon juice, zest, corn starch, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, rolled oats, remaining granulated sugar, brown sugar, coconut flakes, ginger chips, salt, and baking soda.
- Melt the butter and stir in. You should have 3 cups very thick batter.
- Press 2 cups of the oat mixture in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spread the berry mixture evenly across the crust, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining oat mixture.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the top is golden brown and the berries are bubbling up around the edges.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the crumble bars cool completely before removing.
- To remove, just lift the foil edges up. Cut the strawberry oat crumble into bars and serve. Bars can be kept in an airtight container on the counter for two to three days. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If you refrigerate them, I recommend you warm them in the microwave oven before eating.