This week some forty-odd years ago a child was born. He was one of those boys who played fair, and who looked out for the kids on the margins. A natural leader, he captained teams and ran youth groups; still in his teens, a baby boy was named after him.
While at uni, he lived with his grandparents. After his grandmother died, he spent an evening with his grandfather every week and talked about the racing results. Even now, at the helm of a law firm and with three kids of his own, he finds time for the lonely and marginalised. He balances commercial work with advocacy work, and stays in touch with all sorts of difficult people, seeing them not as problems, but as human.
At home, he loves to host and will find any excuse for bubbles. He remembers what people like to drink, and always has the right bottle in the house. A natural conservative, he's nevertheless open to madcap ideas and big adventures; every few years he drags his wife and young children across the world to catch up with old friends or to see something new.
He's the sort of man who gets up in the night with a crying baby; who changes nappies and packs the nappy bag; and who leaves his wife to sleep while he gives the kids breakfast. As much as he likes a girl in frilly knickers and high heels, he married a birkie wearing cotton tailed short haired feminist. Like my relatives, I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was my jokes, perhaps it was the cooking; whatever it was, it seems to work.
In gratitude to my gentle, thoughtful, generous, compassionate, kind and loving husband, I got up early on his birthday to make him breakfast. It had to be easy, because a morning person I am certainly not. I staggered into the kitchen, threw a few ingredients into a food processor and banged them in the oven; half an hour later, we celebrated with blueberry clafouti.
My husband's qualities are myriad; he was even born during blueberry season. Although clafouti is delicious with other berries, pitted cherries, quartered plums or other stone fruit, it is absolutely marvellous with blueberries. May he have many happy returns!
- enough unsalted butter to grease the dish
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 24cm porcelain tart dish.
Place the fruit in a bowl, and gently toss it with 1 tsp flour.
Place the other ingredients into a food processor or blender. Whizz until all is light and frothy. Pour the batter into the greased dish, then scatter with the blueberries or other fruit.
Slip into the oven, and bake for 30 minutes or until it is puffed and golden. Serve immediately.
Tweaked from a recipe by Mollie Katzen in Still Life with Menu.
(Local: blueberries, eggs, milk. Not local: butter, sugar, flour, vanilla essence.)