Despite all of our blueberry freezing, I have a feeling that we are going to be going through our blueberries a lot faster than I had originally intended. This past week I wanted to bring a blueberry treat to an evening book club meeting and to share it with my friends. Blueberry cobbler was something that I had never made before, but this recipe pulled together so easily that I shared it that evening and then later, as a special birthday treat for my mom. With all of the ingredients coming straight from the pantry, it was a fun and frugal dish to share and everyone I shared it with really seemed to enjoy it.
The book we read was, “Still Alice,” by Lisa Genova which is a fantastic read that I read way back in January and finally got a chance to discuss it with everyone. If you haven’t read it, it is a wonderful read that will really make you appreciate the abilities of your own mind and how difficult it would be if you lost the gift of memory.
My great-grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s so I was very familiar with the topic and the emotional toll that it can take on one’s family members when they suffer from this disease. What I did not know was that over a half million people in the United States alone suffer from early-onset Alzheimer’s and that it is possible to suffer from this disease at a much earlier stage in your life than I had ever imagined.
In the story, Alice Howland is a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and is known for her great intellect. She is admired not only by the other faculty members, but by her students for her amazing ability to captivate an audience when speaking about what it is she is most passionate about. Her husband is a scientist, and together they have collaborated on book projects and have a mutual love for each other and the intelligent and scientific dialogue that they can have together.
When Alice starts becoming confused and begins losing her words, forgetting what she is supposed to teach on, and even forgetting where she lives when she goes for a run, she blames it on menopause and decides to contact her doctor about her memory loss.
After going through screening, it is determined that Alice, at the age of fifty, is suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Alice’s quick spiral into memory loss is heartbreaking and her story is especially poignant because she is the chosen narrator of the story. At times, as the reader, you can even become confused along with Alice as scenes are repeated and her family member’s begin to lose their names, or she believes she is talking to strangers when they are well-known characters throughout the book.
The book sheds light on a very real disease in a way that can only be told through the narration of Alice. Although Alice is slipping, she is “still Alice,” even when her family feels her mind is very far away.
This book pulled at my heartstrings in a way that I can’t describe and has made me thankful for the beautiful memories that my mind can retain. It is a wonderful reminder how essential memory is in our daily lives and how important it is to love and respect those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s.
I hope you can get a chance to check out the book and why not bake a little blueberry cobbler to go with it? It is sweet and satisfying..the perfect way to end any good meal or to share with a book club of your own!
Fresh Blueberry Cobbler (Adapted from Food.com)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder to a mixing bowl; stir to combine. Add in milk and butter; stir to combine. Spread batter into a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over batter. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar and drizzle with vanilla. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a pick comes out clean.