Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Our grandparents were simple country people. They grew much of there own food, harvested wild berries, bought milk from the farmer down the road. My grandmother only went to school through the 4th grade. It was a struggle for her to write me a letter when I went off to college. Her life revolved around cooking for the family. She was an awesome cook. Her recipes were simple. Well I guess you could say she had recipes but they were in her head, passed down from her mother to her, shared among aunts, cousins and friends. When Robin and I got married at the tender young age of 20 we were hippies and wanted to learn how to do what she did. She and Robin's grandmother taught us how to can, make jelly, make rolls and biscuits and cook some of our favorite dishes.
One of our favorites is cobbler. They either made it with seasonal fruit that they grew or picked wild: blackberries and peaches in summer, apples in the fall and winter, or they used fruit that they had canned for winter and spring use. The ingredients were always on hand and the quantities simple to remember. A cup of flour, sugar and milk; a stick of butter; a tablespoon of baking powder; 3 cups of fruit. They did use a non-stick pan. It's called an iron skillet. This recipe will not work without one. When we learned how to cook from them we got our own iron skillets. Yea we tried the teflon pan and various pans but they are long gone (good thing since they are toxic) but our iron skillets are still in use every day 35 years later.
So, below is the basic recipe our grandmothers used. Being the modern urban sophisticate, i have added some fancy dancy gourmet twists to my version of the apple cobbler. I melt 1/2 of the butter in a small pan and cook the apples for about 20 minutes with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 2" cinnamon stick, a 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and a 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom. This gives the cobbler a depth of flavor that is not in the original recipe.

3 cups fruit - blackberries, blueberries, peaches, apples all work well
1 stick butter - not smart choice spread or margarine
1 cup flour - we use organic whole wheat pastry
1 cup sugar - we use organic unrefined sugar, sucanat or agave nectar
1 tablespoon baking power
1 cup milk - we use whole milk
Heat the oven to 350ยบ
Clean, peel and chop up the fruit into medium sized chunks. Put the whole stick of butter in the iron skillet and melt on medium low heat. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Add the milk to the dry ingredients and stir together to make a batter. Pour the batter into the iron skillet and spread out evenly. Put the fruit into the middle of the iron skillet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is brown.

Quick and easy!! Make some today!!


The Frugal Hostess said...

Love this post - and I will definitely be making this recipe in one of my iron skillets!

duane marcus Facebook me! said...

Thank you Frugal Hostess. You da mostest!