the fuzzy truth
by suzanne holzwanger,
who has the rare pleasure of actually liking her boss “the appreciator” and considers her a dear friend.
gorgeous sunsets, hot summers and swimming pools. and nestled snugly in the backyard of our far north dallas home, peach trees. thanks to my dad who filled the backyard with peach trees instead of a pool.
while the entire neighborhood was cooling off in their refreshing, glistening pools, my siblings and i were picking peaches. from the trees. from the ground. every peach went into the basket. everybody else (and in a young mind means everyone on earth) had a pool. they swam in their pools, ate by their pools, slept in their pools. not us though-we had peach trees and someone had to pick them. i was convinced my parents had the 4 of us only for this purpose.
and we didn’t just pick, we sorted.
it was usually punishment for chores not done or fights we got into. a far worse punishment though was hearing the sounds of “marco polo!” and “cannonball!” from our friends while we were stuck separating good and bad peaches in the heat (what? she invited her??)
i remember my great aunt Viola, who happens to turn 99 this month, driving down from sherman to visit. I thought she was coming to see us but it was really for the peaches. she and my mom would sit and peel, jar and bake with a kitchen full. boxes and bowls and all fruit ev-er-y-where. i loved the end result of their cobblers, pies, and jams though. such a bitter sweet relationship.
flashing forward a few years,
okay maybe a lot of years, i met the sweetest southern belle from Alabama, emily. emily and her mom jane are only a handful (my in-laws included) of women whom I consider the epitome of true southern charm. and as all southern belles, emily and jane are fabulous cooks! i love going to see them in birmingham or at their beach home in destin. always plenty of good food, wine, and champagne. you may leave a little hungover but never hungry.
the last time I was in florida with emily and her family, jane made peach cobbler. peach. fuzzing. cobbler. i took a bite and it was simply amazing. i have to be honest and tell you truthfully that as much as i roll my eyes and curse peaches, i love them even more.
jane’s recipe is from a well worn and well read 1960’s Alabama County Junior League cookbook.
i don’t bake this cobbler often – have to wait til peaches are at their peak and i happen to know when this is. please see above for references. mostly though, i don’t bake it often because i want it to remain as special to those i’m serving it to as my memories are.
it’s a peach cobbler that fills me with rolled eyes and warm memories from backyard and beach filled days. i’m happy to share it with you so you can make your own memories. maybe enjoy it under a texas sunset, sitting by the pool listening to the summertime chimes of marco polo.
jane’s peach cobbler
2 cups sliced, fresh peaches (4-5 but often 5-6. and on a nostalgic day, 7)
2 cups sugar, separated
½ cup butter or margarine (I’ve never used anything but unsalted butter)
¾ cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
preheat oven to 325
peel and slice peaches, mix with one cup sugar and let stand. put butter in a
2 quart casserole dish; place in the oven to melt.
combine remaining sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and milk. pour over melted butter. do not stir. spoon peaches on top of batter. do not stir.
bake 325 for one hour or when you see a golden top and bubbles. let stand to cool. serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or non-fat vanilla yogurt.
Cook’s hint: white wine and/or champagne go very well with this cobbler