The sun shone last Sunday, the temps were within spitting distance of 20C and the plants in my little front garden were poking through the soil.
Today's clouds block the sun, the mercury barely touches the freezing point and I can almost see little green shoots for the lightest dusting of snow.
Welcome to spring in southwestern Ontario.
A week ago I was bouncing about the place, filled with energy, tackling a number of housey projects I've either put off or have been too busy to tend to.
Today I'm bundled in blankets with a cold little nose and a voice that can't decide if it really should be with Marcel Marceau or Bonnie Tyler: when it exists, it's as raspy as if I've lived a life deserving of whisky and cigarettes.
Last week I wanted a barely sweet crisp. This week I still want a crisp, but I want something on the syrupier side of things. I want to remind myself that summer will arrive with punnets of berries, bursting with colour and sweet juices.
We're not quite in the nadir of local berries, but we may as well be. In a few weeks (okay a few months) I'll be at Herrle's, deciding which containers of fruit will be mine. But now, I'm at the bigscarymegamart, poking through transparent clamshells of underripe, trucked fruit more reminiscent of vinegar than of honey.
Many mornings I breakfast on some combination of yoghurt, fruit and granola. Today when I stood before my fridge's cavernous belly I had a difficult choice to make: use the fruit for breakfast or for a crisp.
Then I asked myself: why choose?
Many crisps are simply fruit stewed under an oatmeal crust. A main ingredient of my homemade granola is rolled oats. Why not top my crisp with unbaked granola?
Why not have this granola-topped crisp for breakfast, with a dollop of yoghurt and a drizzle of honey?
Given the pancakes for supper precedent many of us enjoy, why not? More to the point...given how many people have thinly disguised cakes as muffins for breakfast, why not granola-topped stewed fruit for breakfast?
The result? Well, I'd eat it for breakfast and dessert.
Breakfast Berry Crisp
for the fruit:
600g (1L/4c) mixed berries
50g (0.25c) brown sugar (or more, depending upon how sweet the fruit is)
2dspn (1.5Tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch)
the juice of one orange
For the topping:
60g (0.5c) rolled oats
40g (0.3c) sweet desiccated coconut
20g (2Tbsp) pumpkin seeds
20g (2Tbsp) sunflower seeds
20g (2Tbsp) sliced almonds
25g (2Tbsp) brown sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
0.25tsp ground ginger
3Tbsp maple syrup
2Tbsp soft butter
yoghurt and honey for serving
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Butter a 2.5L (11c) baking dish.
Mix fruit with 50g brown sugar, cornflour and orange juice. Tip into the prepared baking dish.
Mix the topping ingredients together, rubbing in the butter, to make a nubbly, rubbly topping. Strew onto the fruit.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the fruit blurbles and boils and the the topping has turned a golden brown.
Serve warm or cold with yoghurt and honey (or sweetened whipped cream or ice cream).