…one of my favourites…

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

By John Masefield (1878-1967).





Blueberry Pie with Lemon Butter Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon fine salt

2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon zest

1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons) cut into chunks

1/2 cup ice water plus more if needed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

for the filling:

4-6 generous cups wild blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon heavy cream

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and zest. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or a fork until the butter is pieces about the size of large peas. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and add the water and lemon juice.

Blend with a fork until the dough starts to come together. If there’s flour on the bottom of the bowl, add more water a teaspoon at a time until you can gather the dough into ball.

Divide into two pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour and up to 24 hours.

Fold the dough in half gently and place in a pie dish, pressing into the bottom of the dish. Be sure you have an overhang of about an inch all around. Trim off any excess.

In the meantime, place blueberries in a large bowl; with your hands, crush about 1/2 cup of berries, letting them fall into the bowl as you work. Add sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice; stir to combine.

When you’re ready to assemble and bake the pie, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator to soften slightly. Smack one package of dough with a rolling pin to flatten. Unwrap and put the dough on a large floured piece of wax or parchment paper. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour and roll the dough firmly away from you, turning the paper after each roll to create a circle about 2 inches larger than your pie dish. Sprinkle lightly with more flour if you notice the dough starting to stick.

Spoon mixture into chilled pie shell, mounding berries slightly in the center. Dot with butter. Repeat rolling of second piece of dough. Place on top and tuck edge of top dough between edge of bottom dough and rim of pan. Using your fingers, gently press both layers of dough along the edge to seal, and crimp as desired.

Using a paring knife, cut several vents in top of dough to allow steam to escape. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and one tablespoon cream. Brush surface with egg wash, being careful not to let it pool.

Put the pie in the oven and turn the oven down to 400 degrees. Bake the pie about 30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden and the juices are bubbling.

Cool the pie before slicing to allow the juices to settle. Yum.




Desserts chez nous are rare – celebrations and guests are usually the only time we indulge. But today is a day of celebration – as each day that passes gets us one day closer to ‘boat time’