Some would argue that Northern California has no seasons. In my part of Berkeley it is 67 degrees nearly every day with just a few degrees leeway in each direction. Somehow, my body still senses the seasons, and oatmeal and wheatberry breakfast bowls give way to green juice and smoothies.
J introduced me to this breakfast the first summer we were dating. I, always quick to jump on any excuse to eat cheese first thing in the morning, quickly added it to my summer rotation. It reminds him of the summers he spent in Rhode Island with his family. I think of him whenever I eat it and also of that first summer we were dating. I lived with my grandmother in Boston that summer, and I’d sit at her round kitchen table and eat this for breakfast, marveling that I’d never thought to mix cheddar with blueberries before.
In New England, picking your own blueberries is a relatively simple proposition. I love going strawberry and blueberry picking with my mom. With strawberries, I’d always tease her that we should just walk all the way into the row and then start leaving. On our way out she’d always find so many perfect berries that it took us forever to leave, loading more and more ripe red strawberries into already full flats. Blueberries are my favorite to pick, and truly, the berry fields should charge me for an extra pint or two besides what my basket weighs. I’ve consumed at least that many while picking in the early morning dew.
In California, I’ve had very little luck finding pick your own berry farms. Luckily we have wonderful farmers’ markets, and I can spend $20 on blueberries without even blinking. I eat them by the handful, reaching again and again into the brown paper bag as I wander through the rest of the market. I almost never cook with blueberries. I find them so perfect to eat ripe exactly as they are that somehow there are never any sitting around for blueberry pancakes or blueberry buckle.
I always save some blueberries especially for this breakfast though, which is just grapenuts, extra sharp cheddar, and blueberries. (For me, extra sharp cheddar is synonymous with Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar. I’m so vocal about this preference that my mom sent me a brick of Seriously Sharp cheddar in my Easter basket this year) Fill the bowl with milk until it just peeks through the grapenuts and marvel that you never thought to add cheese to your cereal before.