Blueberry cobbler is a summer staple in my family. Growing up, we had six blueberry bushes in our yard. In late July and August my sister and I would often pick a few cups right before dinner for our mom to bake into a cobbler.
Now, there’s current debate between some unnamed members of the family whether this blueberry cobbler was ever really a cobbler. It seems one side says it’s actually a crisp. I subscribed to the belief that it is indeed a cobbler since the recipe from which it came was entitled “Easy Blueberry Cobbler” and not “Easy Blueberry Crisp.” The recipe can still be found in the 1983 Southern Living Annual Recipes cookbook that sits on the cookbook shelf in the pantry.
My mom, and later, my sister and I, would make this cobbler weekly, even bi-weekly. Between the birds and us, we’d eat every last blueberry on those bushes. After they were gone, it would be another summer until we had cobbler, since you just can’t make blueberry cobbler with cryogenically frozen berries shipped from Jupiter.
For a girl who’s grown up on blueberry cobbler, you’d think it strange for her to go to a blueberryless land called China. Well, okay, I have seen blueberry-flavored things in China. There are those blueberry potato chips for one, and blueberry English toffees, oh, and some expensive blueberry health drink made from berries from a famous mountain. I’ve tried the two former ones and they’re quite disappointing. The point is, I’ve yet to see a real blueberry or even a frozen one for that matter. China is, as far as I can tell, blueberryless.
And so, after indulging on this dessert and breakfast as often as possible this summer, I think I’ve found the answer to the frequently asked question “What food do you miss the most while in China?” Blueberry cobbler! This is the taste of home that I’ll miss. Not turkey, not pumpkin pie, apple pie, or even Christmas cookies. All those I’ve been able to reproduce in China. But blueberries are as American as apple pie, or I guess I should say blueberries are as American as blueberry cobbler.
Blueberry season has just about finished, and I’m returning for another year of teaching in China. I’m sad to see this season of vacationing and visiting friends and family come to an end, but at the same time I’m also excited to see another fruit season begin over in China. And I’ll be home in time for the next blueberry season.