“I love spending time with my friends and family. The simplest things in life give me the most pleasure: cooking a good meal, enjoying my friends.”
Every Southern woman has a good cobbler recipe. Usually it is handed down the generations and she knows it by heart. Summer time is cobbler time, so here's my grandmother's recipe:
Heat the oven to 350 and put the baking dish into the over with ¾ stick (1/3 cup) of butter to melt.
Peel and slice fruit or wash berries and remove stems and leaves. You can use almost any kind of fresh local fruit—peaches, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, apples, even pineapple. You'll need about 4-5 cups. Add about ½ cup of sugar, or more if you like things super sweet, and set fruit aside to allow juices to sweat. Alternately, you can mash ¾ or so cup of the fruit to make juice.
Mix together ¾ cup of flour, ¾ cup of sugar, 2 tsp baking power, pinch of salt. Add ¾ cup of milk. Stir together until smooth. Pour evenly over the melted butter and spoon the fruit over the top. Bake 45 min at 350. Great served with homemade ice cream.
Families—by family I mean both biological and family of choice—are bonded by shared meals. Communion. We share the food and wine (in the South, it's food and iced tea) and connect generation to generation, friend to friend by sharing the recipes. Every culture, all over this planet creates community by sharing food. Eating together nourishes body and soul. Honestly, I think we could bring about world peace with shared-meals-diplomacy if we truly wanted to.
My friend, Jessica, told me just last night about her father, an African American farmer in rural Alabama, who gave a pig to a friend who is Latino for his daughter's fiesta de quince anos (15th birthday celebration). Jessica said the man just broke down and cried. Such a gift! In that culture, the pig is cooked in the traditional way—in a fire pit in the ground. The celebration is every bit as important to Latino families, as a bar/bat mitzvah is to Jewish, or confirmation and first communion to Catholic. Sacred ceremony bound and blessed by a shared meal.
I hope wherever you are, you are sharing an open table with the people you love.
In the Spirit,