This week my wife prepared a couple of kitchen delights for me, perhaps in honor of ‘Mother’s Day,’ albeit more for this grandfather, I suspect. She asked one of my sons who was visiting what he’d like to eat. Bless his heart! I always enjoy whatever they select when asked because they are indeed chip’s off the told block. This one asked for sausage and gravy and homemade biscuits. I’ve written recently about breakfast, so I’ll spare you over from those memories and tell you another special thing that happened. Suzie made me a blue-berry cobbler! I admit, that have a love for eating and sweets top the list of satisfying delights worthy of mention in an article. With the risk of being called cruel to those of you that are dieting, or have to deal with such temptations, I must preach the virtues of having such good memories.
Back in the day, when I traveled to church camp, band camp, etc., it was usually at Cabwaylingo, but I did go to music camps at Morehead, and maybe a few other events, but my band camp memories were my favorite. This is especially true for the desserts I enjoyed at Cabwaylingo. I remember many good times while I was there, including cutting up in the barracks, trying to sneak out in the evening to meet a girlfriend, playing games in the big open field between the barracks, and taking a dip in the swimming pool, but I remember especially the food and movies we got treated to each evening.
Thinking back, I can’t remember one meal we had, whether lunch or supper, but I remember the wonderful breakfasts, and the cherry, or apple, cobblers we had after the evening meals. I wasn’t used to the big breakfasts that many of my relatives and friends had on the farm. Usually at home it was hot cereal (Quaker Oats) or cold cereal Wheaties (Breakfast of Champions), or some eggs. Sometimes when I was lucky we had Canadian bacon, or even some ground or link sausage with our eggs. I loved the crisp fried bacon strips. At camp we had choices. It was a rare time, so I chose them all! Scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, cereal, home fries, gravy and biscuits, SOS, and juices. Great was the morning faire. I also gulped down the milk as fast as I could pour it. Ovaltine was around the house when I was trying to save up for a prize relating to a radio program, but it wasn’t as good as chocolate to me, and it wasn’t served at camp. For a skinny guy who often lacked nutritious meals I was in literal ‘hog heaven’ when I hit the camp chow line.
I suppose we had spaghetti some nights, and hot dogs another, etc., but the desserts were so good that I still remember them, today. I tasted my first ever cherry cobbler while I was at camp, and found out I could easily eat my weight in the stuff. Pour a little cream, or milk, over it and leave me alone. I would focus on every bite, and savor the flavor, until my mouth demanded more. The only thing that would remove me from this state of euphoria was to run out of the sweets too soon. How my heart ached when I was told it was all gone.
The apple cobbler was every bit as good, flavored with cinnamon sugar. The crusty breading was enough to write home about. Once removed from the heavy apple sauce, and placed into the mouth, it became almost an anticlimax to actually chew. I found I could hold it for some time, but sooner or later my body would require chewing. With that Heavenly juice, my mouth would explode into pure ecstasy. This was new to me in those tender years. To this day I still long for one of those big, stainless steel trays crammed full of a syrupy concoction. Yes, I’m overweight and so must not gulp down sugary feasts these days. Regardless, I’m rarely in position these days to even choose to gobble down any wonderful desserts. Today, I take joy in watching my grandchildren having some. Just to watch their faces brings back tasteful memories of unfathomed pleasures. Yes, parts of me will groan, for certain, but happiness can be found, calorie-free when I remember the joy of those days.
Blackberry cobbler is definitely not to be left out this story. I remember having it at home when it was whipped up by my dear Aunt Shirley, a school teacher that some of you will remember. I would spoon out a lot of the crust, and a few of the berries, into a bowl and pour milk over it. Man was that good. The milk would turn purple after a time, so about half-way through the meal it needed to be refreshed with some more of the creamy delight. I remember turning up the bowl of purple liquid and drinking it. Some of that precious nectar ran down my chin and onto my shirt. The ruminants created art such as Picasso might understand. Those little seeds from the berries would sometimes get caught between my teeth, but I’d work them out, and bite down enjoying my final moments of pleasure.
I’m guessing that cherry cobbler is the more popular. I’ve seen that served everywhere, but I’ve never had any that was bad. Granted, there are those that can burn boiled water, and totally ruin most any kind of meal, but the ingredients of a cobbler are so good, it would really be hard to mess up.
Now, for those who were brave enough to stay with me through this worship service, let me say that I will not leave you abandoned with no resource to continue. I have for you a recipe garnered from the web. Likely, the cooks of Cabwaylingo have gone to their well-deserved rewards, but with a little care, a product worth enjoying may yet exist, and our memories recaptured. I leave you in that hope.
Recipe makes 1 – 9 inch square cobbler
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
3/4 cup white sugar
Mix 3/4 cup sugar, butter or margarine, flour, salt, baking powder, and milk together. Place cherries in the bottom of a 9 inch square pan. Spread dough over cherries.
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup sugar and cornstarch. Stir in boiling water. Pour mixture over the dough.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Serve warm.