Remember the song? Frank Sinatra made it famous…”Just what makes that little old ant…Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant…”. That was me on Friday. Friday, aka “Haymarket Day“.
Each Friday I set off to the Haymarket with a small wad in my pocket for The Shopping Games. This week I had $13. It isn’t much, but I decided to just play with what I had on me rather than go in with a flash wad and buy “too much”. Heaven forbid.
This week I was victorious. I bought 1/2 bushel (25 pounds) of perfect peaches, 10 mangoes and 2 lbs of campari tomatoes for my $13. I was so excited. I hit the jackpot. Then, after I paid for my prizes, I tried to pick them up. OMG. What the heck was I thinking?? This stuff was HEAVY! Impossible! I repositioned my backpack, which already had a small laptop, 2 books and some other
crap really important things in it. Then I grabbed the whole load in one big stack and headed towards the train. I made it about 50 feet before I had to rest. I tried again. Made it to the corner, but Thank God unfortunately had to stop for a red light. After much flexing of fingers, balancing on posts/trash barrels/newsstands and the fender of a very chatty cop I finally made it to the subway. What??? You thought I’d make it to the big train? Nope. With arms trembling and sweat running between the twins like a luge I finally set my cases of bounty on the seat of the subway car and road for…one stop. As in 2 blocks. I’m so pathetic. Maybe if I was more like an ant…but no. I can’t lift 1/2 my weight, never mind 50x. I meekly rode the escalator upstairs to the commuter train station.
After recovering from my workout, however, I returned home where my Aunt Jo was visiting from her home in Tucson, AZ. I don’t have a lot of relatives. Having her visit is a rare treat. Last time she was at my house…I think GW was in office for the first term. So what wonderful things would I do to entertain my dear Aunt during her visit? Did you guess I’d have her skinny little self in my kitchen for a peach cooking party? Oh you do know me so well! Friday night was processing night. We peeled 25lbs of peaches. I didn’t think to take a photo before; this is what was left (mixed with mangoes):
I saved the peels and stones for peach jelly (I’ll explain later). We canned 10 pints of peach pie filling (easy-peasy, but that’s for later). This morning we had peach coffee cake (yeah- we’ll go over that later too). But first, before anything else, we had to have peach cobbler. We caught up on the cousins, the nieces and nephews and each other over the makings of a magnificent cobbler. I can say this with confidence, as we made a double batch and I just had to do another quality check while I wrote.
Peach Cobbler :an adaption of a recipe from my favorite baking book: the 1987 edition of Jim Fobel’s Old-Fashioned Baking Book (1987 edition not in print; link to 1996) . Ingredients:
8 medium sized peaches
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tblsp cornstarch
1 Tblsp salted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 Tblsp lemon juice
(For the Topping)
1 cup all purpose flour. (Plain old flour to you , Allen!)
2 Tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tblsp salted butter
1/2 cup milk
Prepare the fruit part:
1. Peel, pit and cut peaches into 1/2 inch slices (or 1cm). You should have about 4 cups.
2. Preheat over to 400f. In a large saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Then add peaches, butter, and cinnamon. Place over moderate heat and bring to boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice. Turn into an ungreased 8 inch square pan (I don’t know why it has to be square. It says so in the book).
Prepare the cobbler bit:
3. Prepare the topping: In a medium-sized bowl combine the flour, sugar and baking powder; then cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in milk to make a soft dough and drop by the spoonful all over the peach filling. Bake about 20 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm, with heavy cream (or ice cream!) if desired. Dive in!