Summer is a tricky thing in San Francisco. A morning in July here often feels like a morning in February, much to the consternation of shivering tourist. We grab what sun we can two days here, three days there, until the fog rolls in and we're grabbing our sweaters and pashminas instead, shrugging our pasty shoulders all the while. If one never leaves the City, one has but few clues as to what life is like on the hot, sticky Outside. And I like that just fine.
I always know it's summer when I see berries flooding the markets. I grab baskets of them-- strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, snozberries-- and challenge myself to eat them all before they rot in my fridge, which happened last year, much to my shame. I decorate my cereal with them, never quite looking as well-placed as on the cereal boxes I never buy. I pretend I'm putting them in the wood chipper as I drop them into my blender to make smoothies. I sprinkle them over ice cream. I eat them out of hand.
If I want to put a little effort (and I do mean little) into doing something with berries, this year, I'm making berry pudding, one of the easiest and reasonably healthiest desserts around. If I were forced to give this dish human form, I would vote for Betty White. Rose Nyland-sweet, Sue Ann Nivens-tart, and just about as quick and clever as all Miss White's snappy answers on The Match Game. Put a little whipped cream on her and she's good to go. She's always good to go.