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The Wonderful Wizardry of Blueberries and Sour Cream

It’s barely a recipe: a heap of blueberries in a bowl, dolloped with as much or as little sour cream as you want to lavish them with.

Then they’re sprinkled with brown sugar (light, dark, Muscovado, coconut… no choice is a bad choice), keeping the berries as tart or making them as sweet as you desire.

blueberries and sour cream with brown sugar
Photo: Casey Barber

That’s what made it so appealing to me as a seven-year-old who could barely reach the Formica counter, let alone the bent metal measuring cups and spoons, and make her own meals.

I love that my mom didn’t question why a little kid would repeatedly borrow a cookbook from the library.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Cook Book was part of the constant rotation of A Wrinkle in Time, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the Ramona Quimby series, and the Rainbow Brite and Fraggle Rock LPs cycling in and out of our home every few weeks.

The book (now out of print, though used copies are happily and affordably available on Amazon) was a clever precursor to the Harry Potter cookbook, the Narnia cookbook, and today’s overwhelming number of children’s entertainment tie-ins.

blueberries and sour cream with brown sugar
Photo: Casey Barber

The foods in each chapter follow a color scheme—brown for Kansas, blue for the Munchkins, and, naturally, yellow for the Yellow Brick Road and green for the Emerald City of Oz.

And, even more interestingly, the book is a companion not to the famous Judy Garland film, but to the original L. Frank Baum series.

It references characters like the Winkies (who live in the West) and the Quadlings (who live in the South, ruled by Glinda the Good Witch)!

The recipes pull no punches based on their young target market: taffy and sponge candy instructions call for candy thermometers; others, like Tin Woodman Chips, require deep-frying.

blueberries and sour cream with brown sugar

Not that I would have been allowed to experiment with boiling oil or molten sugar, but I didn’t make very many dishes from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Cook Book.

The recipe, such as it is, for Blueberries & Cream (which doesn’t even contain exact measurements in the book version) is as complex as I got as a nascent home cook.

The one-two-three snack, simplistic though it might be, was surprisingly effective at introducing me—and other budding cooks, no doubt—to how flavors can surprise and delight when paired in unexpected combinations.

blueberries and sour cream with brown sugar
Photo: Casey Barber

The oddity of pairing savory sour cream with fruit, then topping it with pure sugar—a substance otherwise restricted in our house to morning oatmeal and baked good—was just experimental enough to catch my attention.

And it was easy enough to execute without adult supervision, turning this simple dish into a lifelong favorite.

Like my annual soft-serve Italian ice tradition, I can’t eat the summer’s first blueberries any other way than napped in sour cream and strewn with moist, crystalline chunks of brown sugar.

blueberries and sour cream with brown sugar
Photo: Casey Barber

Once that nostalgic itch has been satisfied, I’m free to make blueberry pies and jams, swirl them into yogurt, eat them plain and cold from the fridge, or blend and batter them into cakes.

But, as a girl who regularly trotted through the same roster of reading material again and again and again as a kid, I know I’ll always return to this recipe.

It’s a comfort. It’s like home. And we know there’s no place like that.

blueberries and sour cream with brown sugar

Blueberries and Sour Cream with Brown Sugar

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Just three ingredients—blueberries and sour cream and brown sugar—make a memorable snack that's inspired by a beloved kids' book: The Wizard of Oz.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Divide the blueberries between 4 bowls.
  2. Spoon 2 tablespoons sour cream (or more or less to taste) over the blueberries.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar to taste over each bowl.
  4. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

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8 Comments

  1. Love. My old cookbooks always had more intricate things in them than I see in today’s cookbooks for kids. I think we also had the same library reading list. Sadly, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Cookbook was not in rotation at my house, but I would check out the others until my mom finally gave in and bought them.

    1. After being forced to check out the same library books over and over and over again, my mom caved and bought me my own copies of most of the books in heavy rotation – but not this cookbook! I had to wait until this past Christmas to snag my own copy.

  2. All over this. When I was a kid, I used to bring home cookbooks with herbal remedies and natural cosmetics recipes. Huzzah!

    1. Wow, all you ladies are making me feel like I’ve missed out all my life by only doing this with blueberries. I hope my farm stand still has some strawberries hanging around!

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