It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. I have much of my shopping done – and wrapped! – and our evenings are filling up with visiting friends and loved ones we don’t see enough of the rest of the year.
Part of the pre-Christmas fun is observing the same traditions every year, like watching White Christmas and reading A Christmas Carol out loud as a family. But this year we did something different – we attended a production of A Christmas Carol, put on by my friend Sara and her theatre company. The story is a true classic, and relates the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from money-hungry miser to a man imbued with a spirit of generosity and love. We shivered at the sound of Jacob Marley’s chains and surreptitiously wiped our eyes over Tiny Tim’s predicted death. After the show, the girls gamely posed with the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. We loved this fun, energetic performance and may just have started a new Christmas tradition.
Yesterday was also Andrew’s fiftieth birthday. Rather than celebrating with a party, he chose to spend a quiet day with us. Our oldest daughter gave him song lyrics as a gift (more about Andrew’s music in another post!) and we had dinner at one of our favourite restaurants, Salt. We celebrated with dessert at home. I had offered to make whatever birthday dessert he wanted; like me, he isn’t really a cake person, and asked for this Berry Crisp. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted this recipe yet. I’ve made it for years and we always love it.
Happy birthday to my dear husband!
Mixed Berry Crisp
(barely adapted from Bon Appetit)
6 cups frozen mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), unthawed
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour (first amount)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup flour (second amount)
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
7 Tbsp chilled butter, diced
Combine berries, sugar, 1/4 cup flour and lemon juice. Mix well and transfer to greased glass or pyrex dish. Combine remaining 3/4 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, spices and salt in medium bowl. Add butter and combine. Sprinkle over berry mixture and pat gently into place.
Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.