Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mom was peachy-keen in the kitchen

My mom was a wonderful cook. She could throw a meal together in 20 minutes and it would taste like she spent all day preparing it. We marveled at the speed and versatility she showed in the kitchen.

When she passed away a few years ago I was blessed to get her recipe collection. Well, blessed and cursed. She had half of her pantry filled with cookbooks, magazines, index card file boxes, accordion files, shoe boxes, and binders, and they were all stuffed full with recipes.
I didn’t have room for them all, so the curse was in having to decide what to keep and what to give away.

After much thought, I settled on a scientific method of deciding which recipes to keep. My mom was a very messy cook (I inherited that quality), so if the recipe was stained and dirty, and appeared well used, I kept it. If the recipe was in good shape, it probably didn't get used much, so out it went.

This method worked on most of the recipes, except for the recipes that were written by mom in her own hand. I couldn't part with the ones bearing her handwriting. It is a connection that's important to me. I continue to feel her presence in the kitchen when I’m following one of her handwritten recipes. I'm not ready to let that feeling go. The handwritten recipes stayed in the "keeper" stack.

This peach cobbler recipe was on one of those handwritten and stained recipe cards. What I like about this cobbler is that it is easy, easy, easy... I can still see my mom's hands whipping it up in record time.


4 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice

1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2-quart baking dish. Mix peaches, cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, and lemon juice together and pour into buttered dish.

In a food processor, mix together ½ cup sugar, salt, and flour until blended. Add slices of butter to processor and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Sprinkle crumbly mixture evenly over peaches. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.



  1. That peach cobbler looks so yummy I might just try to make it tonight. Thanks for the great recipe, CaliCook. It's a school night, but if I get moving I may be eating it before midnight.

  2. You could easily be eating it before midnight danica. It's easy. Preparing the peaches takes the long as you have a food processor for the topping. I only have a mini processor, but it works great.

  3. MMMMMMMM! Yet another wonderful recipe. I think ill go have some leftovers now....if there are any!

  4. calicook, This is a very moving story. The picture of you and your mom is just so beautiful, that you can feel the love between the both of you. I am really blessed to have you as a friend. KCB

  5. I am blessed to have you as a friend as well. Love you KCB

  6. I know what I going to bake this weekend!! What a wonderful legacy your Mother left and in such capable hands. Thank you for sharing the love. SH

  7. Oh, Calicook, I can see your mom now... and am delighted to say that on the few occasions we were in town at the same time, I got to sample some of her creations. AND I have to say your tasty goodies are always a treat to sample as well! Come see us down here in Texas and I'll take you out to eat. (I'm just not that good in the kitchen :o/) Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story! See you in a few weeks! :o)

  8. Oh Jilli... What a beautiful pic of your mom and you. Her deserts were so delicious and you my dear have carried on for her. Patty is so very proud of you. Love you Best Friend

  9. Oh Calicook, what a beautiful picture of you and your Momma. I think you did the right thing of keeping the recipes that had her "mess" and her handwriting and love all over them. How brilliant you were to discover this method of keeping the past alive.

  10. Thank you SH for the comment. If I am half the baker my mom was, I will be pleased.

  11. To Texas anonymous, I would love to come to the Lone Star state and see you. I hear they grow the cattle big down there. I have a recipe for Texas sheetcake that I'm going to post that is pretty dang good. Of course, anything chocolate is good. I'm looking forward to seeing you soon. Love to fam.

  12. Linda, Thank you so much for the comment. I am touched that you would take time out of your crazy-busy schedule this week to comment. See you at the wedding on Saturday. Can't wait. Thanks again.

  13. Cyrhen. Thank you. I love the "her mess and love all over them" comment. That is exactly was it is, and I love it! Thank you so much for your support. It means a lot.

  14. Jill, I'm so glad you sent that I miss Aunt Pat allot, now I have her recipe to remember her every time I eat it.

    Love Brian

  15. Thanks Cuz. I miss her tremendously. Fortunately, she's with me sometimes in the kitchen ;)