I try to have at least one new experience every week, especially during the summer. Not necessarily an elaborate adventure, like skydiving or running with the bulls, but more along the lines of trying maple bacon ice cream or turning left instead of right just to see where a road leads. This past week, my daughter and I went blueberry picking. It was quite relaxing and the berries were huge and ripe and the most beautiful shade of deep, purplish blue. These were picturesque blueberries; the kind you would see in an artist’s still life painting. In no time, we had filled two pint containers. And, the taste? Well, one of the most wonderful things about picking fresh blueberries is that you can eat them straight from the bushes or, in our case, the pint container. There were no pesticides or chemicals used in the growing process. So, there was snacking. A lot of snacking. This was definitely an experience I will want to repeat.
We decided to make a Fresh Berry Trifle, or Triffle, as my daughter liked to call it. Her pronunciation made me think of the famous Star Trek episode, “The Trouble with Tribbles”, which you can read about here, if you like. While assembling the trifle, with Star Trek on my mind, I felt inspired to deliver any and all instruction in the style of William Shatner. “We need…more pudding.” “Sprinkle…the berries…on top. How many? I…don’t…know. Bones?” I received mostly blank stares from my daughter. I’m not sure she appreciates my humor. Actually, I’m not sure anyone would appreciate my Shatner impression. It’s abysmal.
Anyway, back to the trifle. It is really just a layer dessert and there is very little cooking involved; none if you substitute instant pudding for the cook and serve variety. The recipe did call for cook and serve vanilla pudding, but I opted for instant, which allowed me to forego using the stove and dramatically decreased the prep time before assembly could begin. We used ladyfingers as the first layer in our trifle and lined the inside and bottom of the bowl with them. The next layer was one half of the vanilla pudding which been enhanced with a teaspoon of imitation rum flavoring. Fancy. Then, we sprinkled a layer of fresh blueberries over the pudding and repeated the pudding/berry layers once more. The trifle was finished with a topping of sweetened whipped cream, which was heavy cream whipped with brown sugar. There was supposed to be a sprinkling of sliced almonds on the top, but we couldn’t find them in the grocery story. So, we used the leftover berries on top. After assembly, the trifle was supposed to be refrigerated for at least one hour. We managed to wait twenty two minutes. It was delicious. Out of this world, even.
Who knows what the next recipe will bring? These are the voyages of the Retro Recipe Test Kitchen. Our mission: to explore strange new recipes, to seek out new ingredients and discover new tastes, to boldly cook what no one has cooked before. Beam me up, Scotty.