On Sunday afternoon, I visited a little corner of hell. It wasn’t subterranean, it wasn’t all that hot, but hell it was, right there in Lincoln Park, at the corner of Kingsbury and Sheffield. Chicagoans might recognize this location: it’s the site of Chicago’s brand new, super(-duper)-sized Whole Foods—a sprawling spectacle of food and booze and carts and people.
To be fair, I’m kind of a sucker for spectacles and I actually quite this new Whole Foods. But I apparently only like it before the hour of 9 a.m., or some similarly unpopulated hour. I can tell you one thing for sure: I do not like it at the hour of 3 p.m. on a Sunday.
Crowded doesn’t even begin to describe the chaos unfolding inside the glass-encased mecca of wholesomeness. There was a full-on bumper-cart roller derby playing out—and that was just in the produce section. The aisles were unpassable, the check-out lines snaking as far as the eye could see.
I found myself in the midst of this nightmare yesterday afternoon. But, I deftly navigated my way through the store, checking off the items on my list—cursing no fewer than a dozen customers along the way. I twiddled my thumbs as I waited in line. I piled my items on the truncated conveyor belt. I was this close.
As the cashier began to beep, beep, beep my items across the scanner, I rummaged through my purse, extracted my wallet and reached for my debit card. Not there. No credit cards. No debit cards. They were in the lovely little clutch I’d carried to the wedding the night before. Only four dollars in cash. I nearly died on the spot of embarrassment (not to mention grocery shoppers’ exhaustion). A dejected trip home, a Kevin to the rescue, and a LOT of whining later, we retrieved the groceries and I swore off grocery shopping for at least a couple weeks.
Luckily, I stocked up on this trip. Because of the wedding, which was in Northern Wisconsin, we missed our Sunday morning farmers’ market. But, no matter: Whole Foods was brimming with beautiful seasonal produce, not just harried (and harrying) customers. I couldn’t resist some Michigan blueberries displayed right by the front door. I picked up a couple pints, envisioning a cake that could double as both dessert and breakfast—my favorite kind. And this bundt is a perfect example of the genre: tender and a little sweet, stained with juicy blueberries and dusted prettily with a halo of powdered sugar. And late Sunday afternoon, it was just the antidote to grocery shoppers’ exhaustion.
Adapted from Cooking Light
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
grated zest & juice of one lemon, divided
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) container reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, grease a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust it with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Set aside.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, butter, and rind in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (about 4 minutes total). Beat in vanilla, lemon juice, sour cream and buttermilk. Add all but 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture; beat at medium speed just until combined. Toss blueberries in reserved dry ingredients; gently fold into the batter. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional).