Showing posts with label blackberry cobbler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blackberry cobbler. Show all posts

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blackberry Cobbler

By guest Mollie Cox Bryan

Even though my book (Scrapbook of Secrets) has a scrapbooking theme, food is front and center at times. Scrapbooking can be a social hobby and often where we gather, we also have food. I’m so happy to be posting here today because I know the writers and the fans of this blog really get that. I am preaching to the choir!

This is one of my favorite scenes in the book. It tells you a lot about Vera, one of my main characters.

Vera made her mind up to stop dieting last year. She decided to become a better role model for her students—and there was just no point in starving herself any longer. She would never be a ballerina. She had been on a diet for thirty years or so—after her dance teacher, when Vera was about ten—made a remark about her thighs.
Forget her. I am not starving anymore.
It was so freeing.
The first thing she ate—really ate, with abandon— was her mother’s blackberry cobbler. Not a piece of cobbler, but the whole thing.
She sat at her mother’s 1950s chrome and turquoise Formica kitchen table—the same table on which she ate almost every meal when she was a girl—and ate a piece while it was still fresh out of the oven.
“Do you have any vanilla ice cream, Ma?”
“Huh? Yeah, sure,” answered Beatrice, who was visibly taken aback by her daughter’s sudden love of blackberry cobbler.
“I have always loved it, Ma,” Vera said, as if reading her mind. “I just was always watching my weight. And I figure, well, what’s the point?”
Vera then ate a slice covered with vanilla ice cream. Real ice cream—for her mother never bought any thing low fat or low carb or low sugar. She almost fainted at the creaminess, the mixture of textures and temperatures in her mouth. The next piece was covered with dollop of whipped cream, while her mother tried to look busy wiping of a non-existent crumb from the teal, speckled Formica counter, not wanting to stare at her only child as she seemed to be enjoying a private moment with the cobbler.
As Vera relished each bite, the mixture of the gritty and gelatinous mingled with sweet, juicy berries, covered with a light but substantial crust, her mother gave up her stance and watched intently. Her mouth hung open after Vera’s fourth piece.
She handed her the pan. “Here, baby, this is the best way. Have at it,” she said and left Vera alone with the blackberry cobbler.  Later she explained that she felt it was the only proper thing to do.
After all, Vera had not touched cobbler, pie, or cake since she was ten-years-old.
So, Vera had put on about twenty pounds. But it was a good gain. She had more breasts and hips and thighs than ever before. And she loved her body. It was hers and it did everything it was supposed to do and more. She rewarded it often with good chocolate—preferably fresh and artisanal. She was still a graceful woman and dancer, even with the extra twenty pounds and she was a happier person.

Beatrice’s Blackberry Cobbler
(Vera’s first cobbler after years of not eating anything sweet)

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups blackberries, picked over, rinsed & drained
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cold, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

In a large bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add 1 cup of sugar, lemon juice, and blackberries; combine gently. Transfer to a cast iron skillet.

In a bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and stir the mixture just until a soft dough is formed.

Bring the blackberry mixture to a boil, stirring. Drop spoonfuls of the dough carefully onto the boiling mixture, and bake the cobbler on a baking sheet (line with foil to avoid a mess) in the middle of a preheated 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is golden. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Photo by Gluten Free Cooking

Mollie Cox Bryan is a freelance writer, a mystery author, and the author of "Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies," "Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant Cookbook" and a NEW mystery novel, "Scrapbook of Secrets: A Cumberland Creek Mystery." Who says writers can't cook?