Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lentil Roast




Today's offering is from The Eat Less Meat Book (by the very same Mrs CS Peel from my last post), written in 1917, and tagged with the publisher's helpful note: "Recipes for those who wish to substitute other dishes for meat." This recipe is from the section on "Pulse Dishes," which begins with the caveat that "all dried pulses must be soaked for quite twelve hours and cooked long and slowly," and goes on to caution the reader that because they are "rich in protein," they are often "found indigestible when eaten with meat, the combination of two foods containing such a high proportion of protein throwing too great a strain on the digestive organs." On the latter score, the reader need not fear, since no legume of mine is getting within a country mile of any dead critters; on the former point, however, I must beg to differ with the estimable Mrs Peel, since I find an hour or so of soaking perfectly adequate for pulses like lentils, which are the primary ingredient in this dish. The finished product was a very tasty "meatloaf," which would also make a good filling for sausage rolls and "meat" pies, or as the basis for cutlets or sausages.

Lentil Roast (my version)
Ingredients
~ 2 tbsp. oil
~ 1large onion, finely chopped
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ 1/2 tsp. each: marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme
~ Dash ground mace
~ Several generous grinds pepper
~ 1.5 cups brown lentils, rinsed and soaked
~ 3 cups vegetable stock
~ 2 cups mashed potatoes
~ 1 cup bread crumbs (or ground walnuts to make it GF and save bread!)
~ 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
~ 1 tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine

Directions
~ Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
~ In a large saucepan, cook the onion in the oil over medium heat for five minutes.
~ Add the lentils, salt, rosemary, marjoram, sage, thyme, mace, and pepper.
~ Stir to coat and cook another minute or two before pouring in the stock.
~ Cover the pan, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until all the stock has been absorbed and the lentils are quite mushy. Give the mixture a stir occasionally to make sure it isn't sticking (in which case you can add a splash of water), but bear in mind that "it must be fairly dry when the lentils are cooked."
~ Remove from heat and transfer the cooked lentils to a mixing bowl. Mash them thoroughly and stir in the mashed potato, bread crumbs or walnuts, and chopped parsley.
~ Mix well, and when it's cool enough to handle, shape the mixture into two loaves and place them on your prepared baking sheet. (Mrs Peel wants us to form them into "a shape as much like roast duck [?!] as possible," but I thought the meatloaf approach would be more manageable. That said, if you want to try the duck thing, please go right ahead, but I do ask that you let me know how it turns out!)
~ Dot the top of the loaves with the margarine (the prototype's "small scraps of fat'), and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until they are "a nice brown."
~ Allow the loaves to sit for about 10 minutes before slicing. I served this dish with a mushroom gravy made by adding a teaspoon of Marmite and 1/2 lb. chopped, sauteed mushrooms to The Win-the-War Cookery Book's "Good White Sauce," which was a nice accompaniment to the roasted potatoes and braised green beans we had along with it.

Mrs CS Peel's Version



Monday, September 15, 2014

Mulligatawny Soup




Today's recipe comes from The Victory Cookbook, published in 1918 and co-authored by contemporary domestic goddess Mrs CS Peel, "until recently Director of Women's Service, Ministry of Food; Editor of Le Manage; Director of the Daily Mail Food Bureau," and Iwan Kriens, "culinary expert and food specialist; Member of the Gordon Rouge (golden) Order Merit of Food and Cookery Association; many diplomas of honour and several medals; Membre du Jury, Paris Salon Culinaire."

Sacre bleu! With credentials like those on the cover, these recipes have to be good, right? Well, I won't cast aspersions on people appointed to illustrious posts like Director of the Ministry of Food's Women's Service, or who were awarded "many diplomas of honour and several medals," but let's just say that being penned by such accomplished gastronomical insiders didn't exempt The Victory Cookbook from the usual problems that bedevil recipes from this period: maddeningly vague quantities, imprecise directions, and occasionally crazy cooking times (see: rice boiled for two hours).

But the self-sacrifice of those on the home front helped ensure that "civilisation" would prevail - albeit at the cost of 888, 246 British and Colonial soulsso who am I to quibble with their cooking methods? And you know what? After I'd rationalized the amounts and made a few educated guesses (how much is "a bunch of fresh herbs," and which herbs are they?), this ration-friendly take on the classic Anglo-Indian Mulligatawny soup turned out to be quite lovely. It put me in mind of a lighter, more delicate curried squash soup without the squash, and while I'm not quite sure how that works, it made a nicely autumnal dinner with some (sssh!) grilled onion naan on the side.

Mulligatawny Soup (as adapted by me)
Ingredients
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
~ 1 large yellow onion, diced
~ 1 large granny smith apple, diced
~ 1 tbsp. decent curry powder
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ ½ tsp, ground cardamom
~ A few grinds black pepper
~ 2 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
~ 2 tbsp. chutney (I used 1 tbsp. each spicy mango and sweet lime pickle; please yourself)
~ 1 cup basmati rice
~ 8 cups water or vegetable stock
~ 1 tbsp. cornstarch
~ Juice of 1 lemon
~ ½ cup fresh, chopped cilantro
~ 1 cup cooked basmati rice (optional)

Directions
~ In a large pot, melt the margarine and cook the diced onion and apple over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
~ Add the curry powder, salt, cardamom, pepper, and tomatoes. Stir to combine and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until things are quite soft.
~ Add the chutney and the rice, stir well, and pour in the water or vegetable broth. Cover the pot, bring just to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes.
~ Add the cornstarch, fresh cilantro, and lemon juice, and puree with an immersion blender.
~ Taste for seasoning and serve hot, with a little cooked rice in each bowl for garnish if desired.




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vegetable Pie




Something I've noticed about recipes from both world wars is their tendency to play a bit fast and loose with culinary vernacular. Terms like "sausage," "roast," and "pudding" are interpreted rather freely, as is the word "pie" in today's post. This type of semantic fluidity has particular resonance for vegans (and is in fact earmarked for closer analysis in another post), and of course savory pies come in many shapes and forms: pot pies, vegetable pies, cheesy pies, pizza piesquiches, French Canadian "meat" pies, Cornish pasties, and all manner of pastry-encased foodstuffs. Anyone familiar with this blog knows that I love them all passionately, and that I am always happy to welcome a new variation into my repertoire (and my stomach).

But the thing that sets today's interpretation apart from all of the afore-mentioned iterations of pieness is the lack of any crust or topping, and of course the reason for this omission is - you guessed it - that it doesn't use any wheat flour! As we know, dishes like shepherd's pie have a mashed potato rather than a pastry topping (also suggested for flour-saving WWII-era recipes like Lord Woolton Pie and Lancashire Hotpot), but 1917's Win-the-War Cookery Book doesn't even gesture towards a traditional, pie-like structure. In fact, I'd categorize this recipe as something between a casserole and a stew, except that I'm afraid the Women of Britain would come back to haunt me, send me to Belgium, and/or take away my bread.

So "vegetable pie" it is.

Now that we've addressed this dish's semiotic complexities, I must admit that the original recipe was uninspiring, if not downright depressing: basically toss some randomly chosen raw vegetables into a greased pie dish, pour a pint of milk over them, and then bake the bejesus out of the whole business before serving. Hey, war is hell on the home front, too (and no, your dinner will not be accompanied by bread, so don't even think about asking, or you'll get nothing and like it. Are you rooting for the Hun, then, greedyguts? I didn't think so).

Since the cookbook's author helpfully notes that "You can use any vegetables you like for this pie, and in any proportions," I opted to keep the potatoes but eschew the prototype's celery, artichokes, and tomatoes in favor of the equally British leeks, carrots, brussels sprouts, and mushrooms, cooked in a bit of margarine, and I substituted a pint of the same cookbook's "good white sauce" for plain milk boiled with cornstarch. The end result was actually quite tasty, and some mushy peas and leftover mashed potatoes on the side made good use of its sauciness (PHWOAR!). If I were to make it again - and I very well may - I'd probably tempt fate and add some sort of biscuity topping, but it did get a lot of veggies into us on September's first properly chilly evening without wasting any bread or flour, so I declare this another unqualified win!

Vegetable Pie
Ingredients
~ 2 potatoes, cooked and diced (I did them in the microwave)
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine, divided
~ 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
~ 2 carrots, diced
~ 1 cup brussels sprouts, quartered
~ 1/2lb. mushrooms, sliced
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ 1/2 tsp. each: thyme, marjoram, sage
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ 1 batch "good white sauce," with 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley added at the end

Directions
~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and coat a 9 x 12" baking dish or large deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray.
~ In a large skillet, melt 1 tbsp. of the margarine over medium heat and cook the leeks, carrots, and brussels sprouts until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
~ Add the mushrooms and seasonings and cook about 5 minutes more.
~ Stir in the cooked potatoes, combine thoroughly, and transfer to your greased baking dish.
~ Pour the white sauce over the top and allow the dish to rest a few minutes so the sauce can settle into the filling.
~ Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
~ Remove the foil, dot the remaining tablespoonful of margarine over the top, and continue baking, uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned.
~ Remove from oven and allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"A Good White Sauce"




She doesn't look very happy about it, though, does she?

Today's recipe is taken from the Win-the-War Cookery Book's "Leeks in Sauce," which calls for an unspecified quantity of leeks to be boiled in salted water for an hour "or until tender" (see the image below for the ocular proof) before being transferred to a greased pie dish, covered with "a good white sauce," and baked. When I was looking for something to accompany the other night's "fish" sausages I decided to give this very simple sauce a go, and was pleasantly surprised by the results. I generally start such things with a roux of fat and all-purpose flour, but because wheat flour was both scarce and dear in 1917, many period recipes call for cornflour (that's cornstarch here in the USA) instead, and I must say it gives a lovely, light smoothness to the finished product.

I basically followed the directions as written, substituting margarine and soy milk for their cow-sourced analogues; I did add some bouillon for a little extra oomph, but you could easily stick to the salt, pepper, and nutmeg called for in the prototype. This sauce would also work beautifully with herbs like sage, rosemary, tarragon, dill, etc. I made a batch with fresh parsley for use in a savory pie - which included leeks, albeit not ones that had been boiled for an hour - and it made a perfect complement to the root vegetable filling. Another win for the women of Britain, and a new basic white sauce for me: victory all round!

A Good White Sauce
Ingredients
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
~ 1 tbsp. cornstarch
~ 2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 2 tsp. no chicken bouillon or 1 tsp. salt
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ Dash nutmeg

Directions
~ In a saucepan, melt the margarine over medium heat and stir in the cornstarch and a little of the soy milk, whisking until smooth.
~ Gradually add the remaining milk, bouillon or salt, pepper, and nutmeg, whisking constantly.
~ Allow the mixture to boil and continue whisking for 5-7 minutes, until you have a similar consistency to a milk gravy. Adjust seasonings and serve hot over anything you like.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Fish" Sausages





"Women of Britain...Our soldiers are beating the Germans on land. Our sailors are beating them on the sea. You can beat them in the larder and the kitchen."

So reads the preface to the Win-the-War Cookery Book, published in 1917 and featuring a personal message from King George V, exhorting his "loving subjects" to "practise the greatest economy and frugality," particularly in "the use of every species of GRAIN." Before what my great-grandfather's medals call "the Great War for Civilisation, 1914-1918" up to 70% of the wheat used for British bread was imported, much of it from Canada. Once hostilities began, supply and expense became an increasingly serious issue: since an army marches on its stomach, and bread is proverbially the staff of life, people on the home front had to cut back on baked goods, and cut back sharply.

Unlike its sequel twenty-five years later, however, the First World War did not begin with government-mandated food rationing. Instead, the prevailing rhetoric urged Britons to tighten their belts and reduce waste voluntarily, because it was the right thing to do; enforced rationing wasn't instituted until 1918, when it was added to the continually-evolving Defence of the Realm Act. Even the most cursory glance at recipes from the era reveals a deep anxiety about the need for self-policing: posters, pamphlets, newspaper columns, and cookbooks all stress that the best way for women, children, and other civilians to help defeat the enemy was to waste (and eat) less food, particularly bread.

But home front frugality also extended to meat, fats, fuel, and imported goods, and (as in WWII) a good deal of emphasis was placed on the importance of home-grown vegetables, whether fresh or canned, and on replacing meat with other sources of protein such as fish and beans. There were also new products being introduced to the British dinner table during this period, such as tinned tuna fish, which was touted as "something entirely new - quite different from anything that has ever been sold in this country before."

All of which brings me to today's recipe for "fish sausages," from the above-mentioned Win-the-War Cookery Book. In terms of Vegan MoFo, this strikes me as a particularly meta choice: the mashed fish in the prototype (see the image below) is meant to replace ground meat, but since we don't eat meat or fish, my herbivorous adaption takes "ersatz" to a whole new level. I opted to make the "fish" from tofu, and added a dash of Liquid Smoke for a kippery je ne sais quoi. Since the quantities in these recipes are maddeningly vague - exactly how much is a "teacupful," and who cooks two tablespoonfuls of rice? - I adjusted for my family, and have reproduced my approach accordingly. I confess to having some doubts at the "sausage-forming" stage, but in the end this dish turned out to be a big success - sort of a cross between a fish stick and a croquette. (NB I opted for baking as opposed to frying in "boiling fat," since I fear the little darlings would not have survived intact.) I served the sausages with roasted brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and a simple, delicious white sauce from the same cookbook, which I'll be sharing later this week. So as of this posting, I'm cautiously optimistic about Great War MoFo: after all, the kitchen is the key to victory!

"Fish" Sausages
Ingredients

~ 1 14 oz. package firm tofu, frozen, thawed, and pressed
~ 1.5 cups water or broth
~ 1/2 cup short-grain rice
~ 1-2 tbsp. cornstarch
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, dill
~ 1/2 tsp. each: sage, marjoram, sage, Liquid Smoke
~ A few generous grinds black pepper
~ Dash mace
~ 2 tbsp. finely chopped, fresh parsley
~ 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs

Directions
~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and coat a large baking sheet generously with cooking spray.
~ In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil and add the rice. Cover tightly and cook over low heat until soft (about 15 minutes), but still a bit watery. Set aside to cool.
~ In a large mixing bowl, mash the tofu until no large lumps remain.
~ Add the rice (including any unabsorbed cooking liquid), cornstarch, seasonings, and chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly until you have a relatively smooth mixture and set aside for about 30 minutes.
~ Pour the breadcrumbs onto a large plate.
~ Form the tofu/rice mixture into sausages (this part is fiddly; you might want to dampen your hands with some cold water), roll them in the breadcrumbs, and set aside. I got 14 sausages from this recipe, but your mileage may vary.
~ While you're making the sausages, place your greased baking sheet in the oven to heat.
~ When all the mixture has been used up, place the sausages on your preheated baking sheet, hit them with a little cooking spray,  and cook for 30 minutes,  turning (carefully) once or twice.
~ Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy Vegan MoFo! (It's About More Than Food)




This is a post I've been thinking about for some time, and
it seems an appropriate kick-off for my seventh Vegan MoFo. When I started this blog, way back in the primordial mists of 2008, it was to explore my own culinary interests, to record kitchen experiments, and to recreate and reconnect with food in ways that hit the visceral, atavistic pulse points of "mom's (or dad's) home cooking" without eating other animals. I love being vegan, and have never been shy about saying so, but it's apparent to anyone who reads this page that its main focus is on recipes, with occasional literary, anthropological, historical, cultural, and/or personal digressions. I find feeding people an enjoyable and effective form of activism, whether in person or by sharing dishes here, and it's also enormously rewarding. I'm always amazed and flattered when readers cook and eat my recipes, and gathering people I love around a table is among life's greatest pleasures.

As members of a small but growing demographic, vegans often find themselves cast as de facto ambassadors for a movement, and while this isn't necessarily a role for which anyone auditions, it's nonetheless an opportunity to bring attention to a lifestyle that privileges compassion. I take this position seriously, because it opens a space for veganism to be less mysterious and more accessible; even potentially "normal." That last term is one that comes up a lot: I once had lunch with a friend who declared - after I'd quickly scanned the menu and modified something - "You're so normal about the whole vegan thing." I laughed and said that "normal" wasn't typically a word I'd apply to myself, but I appreciated her positive intentions, even if I wasn't entirely sure what she meant. What I do know is that the more "normal" veganism can become, the better it will be for everyone concerned: especially the animals, who probably don't care why they aren't eaten, only that they aren't.

Of course, negotiating this "normal" thing can be challenging, and sometimes entails a certain amount of tongue-biting. I'm fortunate to have thoughtful, intelligent friends, so I've largely been spared the horror stories one sometimes hears viz. family members sneaking animal products into things, forbidding vegans from bringing food to holiday dinners but neglecting to provide them anything to eat, or even those oh-so-original-ermagerd-I-have-never-heard-that-one-before "jokes" about People Eating Tasty Animals, animals being made of "meat," etc. In fact, if I were to list all the people who've sat at our table or invited us to theirs, gone out of their way to make sure we were looked after as guests, and/or just been generally wonderful, this post would go on forever. Suffice to say if you're reading this, you know who you are, and you rock.

When I do hear the occasional snarky comment, I usually don't respond, because I think those things stem from a place of genuine discomfort: it's far less painful to make a joke than to consider the ramifications of what's inflicted on billions of animals in order to satisfy our gastronomic preference. Many of us know (and used to be) omnivores who "wish they could" or "know they should" be vegetarians but aren't, because it would be too difficult for X, Y, or Z reason. There are also many people (including our former selves) who comprehend the meat, dairy, and egg industries' cruelty but admit to putting hands over their eyes and fingers in their ears because they "can't deal with it." And it is hard to deal with; maybe even impossible. Which is part of why I finally opted out of the whole system: it's just so much easier that way. I don't have to worry where "my" chicken, or milk, or eggs come from because they're not "mine," and they were never meant for me

On the one hand, I am heartbroken and angry at how we abuse and exploit other animals without regard for their suffering, their subjectivity, or their inherent value as beings completely apart from us and the anthropocentric contexts in which we enclose them. On the other hand, my real (i.e. academic) work privileges coherent, articulate arguments and effective rhetoric, so I am keenly aware of the power of words; if I'm going to talk about this subject in a public forum, I want what I say to be heard and understood. Despite the axiom about squeaky wheels getting grease, history has all too often shown that being perceived as "strident" or "combative" can get you dismissed, beaten, arrested, or worse. What's the point in shouting the truth from the rooftops if it makes the people you're trying to reach ignore (or throw rocks at) you?

On yet another hand (there are always at least three hands), I like to think that everyone is just a vegan waiting to happen, and it's been my practical experience that you catch more omnivorous flies with tasty casseroles than with graphic descriptions of factory farms or critical examinations of the intersections between animal abuse and misogyny, racism, classism, colonialism, speciesism, and any number of the other sociocultural ills that human flesh is heir to. Of course, I do have those conversations, but in particular contexts: my partner and several friends are engaged in the burgeoning field of critical animal studies, which provides many opportunities to explore the ways humans see, treat, use, and interact with other animals in Life, Literature, History, and Everything. I'm part of a large and diverse online community of amazing vegans that includes political activists, professional chefs, cookbook authors, animal rescue workers, business owners, parents committed to raising a generation of compassionate children, and yet more academics.

All these things are good, and they reflect veganism's increasing presence in the mainstream. Magazines and newspaper articles feature recipes and tout the ethical, environmental, and health benefits of a plant-based diet, restaurants offer more animal-free dishes, and an ever-growing number of people know what "vegan" means
; even a recent conference trip to Iceland presented us with almost no difficulties. But in the midst of all these developments, it's important to remember that this whole endeavor is about more than convenient dining options and exciting breakthroughs in ersatz meat: it's about compassion, about trying to reduce suffering and exploitation, and about making our world suck a little less. And for many of us who live with animals and recognize their dignity and their individuality, it's about - dare I say it? - love. 

So while I plan to keep the Elizavegan Page's primary focus on food and cooking (and I promise my next post will properly engage with this year's theme), it's worth taking a pause at the start of yet another MoFo to remember why I'm doing this, and what - and who - is really at stake. And then I can head back into the kitchen and cook you guys some food.




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blueberry Ginger Buckle (or is it a Cobbler?)



It's been several busy, intense weeks since I last posted, because all of a sudden the long, lazy days of summer starting careening down the hill towards fall at top speed, and then it was time to - GULP - move my son into college. Needless to say, this development produced a rich, complex emotional stew of pride, excitement, nostalgia, panic, and complete denial that left little energy for cooking (or blogging). But now he's settled in, his classes have started, all appears to be well, and it's time for me to settle back into something like a normal routine.

With another Vegan MoFo coming up, that routine includes spending some quality time in the kitchen. My own classes resume next week, so my plan for this year's MoFo is to post two or three times a week, and after careful consideration, and in light of the World War I centenary
I've decided to focus on recipes from between 1914-1918. I learned so much from my World War II austerity project  two years ago, and this theme seems like an appropriate follow-up. I've been doing some research, but would be grateful for any resources that culinary enthusiasts, living history types, material culture-friendly British modernists, etc. might be able to provide; thanks in advance.

But all that lies in the womb - or at least the stomach - of time. There's still a bit of summer left, and today's recipe reflects that fact by using a full pint of sweet, delicious, late August blueberries. So what is this thing, exactly? Is it a cobbler? Is it a buckle? Is it - wait for it - a grunt? What's the difference? And does it really matter when whatever it may be is so easy, and so delicious? Enjoy these last lazy days, and I'll see you in the trenches come September; watch this space!

Blueberry Ginger Buckle 
The Filling
Ingredients
~ Juice of 1 lemon
~ 1 tbsp. fresh, grated ginger
~ 1 pint fresh blueberries
~ 1/4 cup maple syrup
~ 1/2 cup orange juice
~ 2 tbsp. corn starch

Directions
~ In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice and ginger and mix well.
~ Add the blueberries, maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of the orange juice; cover and bring just to a boil.
~ Whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice until smooth. Add to the berry mixture and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and the fruit has softened slightly.
~ Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

The Batter
Ingredients
~ 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
~ 1 cup corn meal
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1/2 tsp. each: baking soda, salt, cinnamon
~ Dash nutmeg
~ 1/2 cup brown sugar
~ 1 large, ripe banana, mashed
~ 1/4 cup canola oil
~ 1.5 cups almond milk (plain or vanilla)
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ 1 tbsp. sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp. each cinnamon and dried ginger

Directions
~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and coat a 9 x 12" baking dish with cooking spray.
~ In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brow sugar.
~ In a separate bowl, combine the mashed banana, canola oil, almond milk, and vanilla extract; stir well until smooth.
~ Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy batter (you can add a splash more milk if it seems too dry).
~ Spoon a little more than half the batter into the bottom of your greased baking dish, making sure the bottom is entirely covered, and then add the blueberry filling (all of it!).
~ Top the filling with the remaining batter, don't try to smooth it out, but just distribute it in rough lumps, like a cobbler topping.
~ Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger over the top and bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.
~ Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan about 15 minutes before slicing into squares for serving.