Traverse City Record-Eagle

Rebecca Lindamood: Foodie With Family

June 30, 2011

Foodie With Family: Dress up dessert

My kids have been struck with a very serious fever.

Baseball fever.

They liked baseball well enough before, but this year it’s all about statistics and baseball cards and their favorite teams and staying up late to watch big games. But oh, even more than that, it is all about the pickup baseball game.

They should all thank me for giving them a sufficient quantity of siblings that they can, with the addition of very few friends, play a respectable impromptu game. My flower bed (!?!) is the pitching mound, the tear-drop-shaped driveway is an odd, but acceptable diamond. Bike helmets are batting helmets. Stealing base is the bee’s knees. A boy who has successfully stolen base walks around with a glow of superiority for hours. Last night, one child slid into the kitchen when beckoned to empty the dishwasher.

This is the stuff of summer and youth. This is the real home field advantage. When you are pestering your mother for an empty berry basket to use as third base since the dog ran off with the other one, you know your life is pretty good. And since berry baskets are abundant right now, life is even better.

It doesn’t take much work to turn a berry into a spectacular dessert. In fact, the less you do to it, the better it usually is. While I’m content to simply pop berries into my mouth by the handful, some occasions call for a dessert that’s a little less casual. For those moments, you want a showcase for the berries rather than a big production. Here are two that I love that leave me plenty of time for my new summer job: Umpiring the game in my front yard.

Honey Meringue Dessert Cups are the perfect foil to sweet or tart fresh cherries. Needing nothing more than a crown of freshly pitted cherries, these lovely golden meringue cups have the added benefit of being allergy-friendly. These gluten- and sugar-free beauties are sweetened only with honey.

Because honey loves moisture, they will take a while longer to dry than sugar-sweetened meringues. That’s OK; it’s almost all hands-off time. And as soon as they’re cool, be sure to store them in an airtight container because they will want to draw in moisture from the air.

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