My late mother-in-law used to love the color blue. Her living room carpet was Carolina blue; her walls were a very pàle blue. She had lovely china in blue and white. A lot of her clothing was in different shades of blue to go with her pretty blue eyes, no doubt. We were assured that, when we went shopping for her for Christmas, she would really like whatever we got for her as long as it was blue.
I guess I was in my mid-40s when certain shades of blue started to really appeal to me. It started with flow-blue china and the linens and glassware that complement it. Then it spread to touches of cobalt blue around the house. It reminds me of the funny little saying, “Mirror, mirror on the wall I am my mother (or mother-in-law) after all.”
And, then, there’s always the bluebird of happiness.
Blue, however, is a double-edged sword.
My mother used to say, on the rare occasions when she was feeling a bit down, that she was “feeling blue.” We all know what that feels like.
Do you remember the beautiful song, “Blue,” by LeAnn Rimes? She recorded it when she was in her mid-teens, with the voice of a woman a decade older than she was at the time. It was haunting and very melancholy, partly yodeled, partly sung. I never got the yodel to come out right, but I’d find myself singing that song anyway.
Last year, country star Keith Urban recorded “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” another melody on the somber side, that gets a lot of play on the radio.
Like lots of other words, the word “blue” alludes to many different situations. It’s what you make it. When it comes to food, however, it’s nearly always good.
NEW ENGLAND’S BEST BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup blueberries
2 teaspoons sour cream
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients with blueberries in a medium mixing bowl.
Add egg, sour cream and milk. Stir just until moist.
Divide batter among 8 cups of a greased muffin tin (they should be 2/3 full) or line with paper baking cups.
Bake in preheated oven 20 to 25 minutes.
Makes eight muffins.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.