On a whim, I bought a few lottery tickets over the weekend.
It was an out-of-the-ordinary moment for me. Unless the jackpot reaches gargantuan levels, I never buy them. But this time, it was just for fun.
Buying the tickets, a slogan for the New York State Lottery popped into my head: “Hey, you never know.” When it was first introduced, I was a kid living there and found it so clever.
It was more than that too. This was a teachable moment for my kids, a chance to talk about what happens to the money that people spend on lottery tickets of all kinds (a portion goes towards the winnings, a portion goes toward the stores that sell them and the rest to the general fund where it’s used to support education, health services and more — or so says the Maine State Lottery website).
More than that though, we talked about why we almost never play the lottery. We talked about how spending a few dollars once in a while on a ticket for fun is different than doing it all the time. There are so many other things that money can be used for instead, that have guaranteed returns. Like dinner ingredients.
And while it was fun that we won a little money with the few tickets we bought, it’s not something we’ll likely do again anytime soon. I’m happy we managed to recoup the money we spent on tickets plus a few extra dollars for fancy drinks or something.
Aside from the teachable moments, there was a bit of nostalgia for me too.
See, that’s the thing, I may not currently play the lottery, but when I was a little girl — before quick picks even existed — my grandmother and I would, semi-regularly, play our numbers. Hers might have been the same all the time, but mine were ever changing. And never — in all the years that we played — did we win anything.
So, Bett, this one’s for you.
And so is this coffee cake. Coffee cake was her favored breakfast pastry.
This sweet coffee cake begins with a banana-flavored cake, dotted with sweet wild blueberries. It’s topped with a butter layer of sugar-cinnamon topping. A delight.
You start by mixing the dry ingredients together, and then the wet ingredients. Then they are all combined. Finally, frozen blueberries are stirred in.
That’s pressed into a greased 9-inch round pan and then topped with melted butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture. And finally, it’s baked.
The tender coffee cake is a delight in the morning enjoyed with a cup of coffee while reading your morning paper, your favorite magazine or a good book.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup milk
- 2 overripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan with butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it forms course crumbs. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk until light and frothy. Whisk in the smashed banana. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and stir to combine. Add the blueberries and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and pat into a single layer. The dough will be slightly stiff. Brush with the melted butter for the topping, pouring over any excess.
- In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the coffee cake all over.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out cleanly. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a serving dish, slicing into wedges and enjoying.