Our thirteen-year-old granddaughter, Madalyn, is visiting for a few weeks as she has for the past five years. For the last few years I have been teaching Madalyn to cook some of our family favorites and occasionally we find recipes in magazines and on the Internet that she wants to try.
This year we decided to make a family favorite dessert, peach cobbler. I have been making this recipe since around the early seventies and it has always been a winner with family and friends. The original recipe came from Better Homes and Gardens and was called Peach-a-Berry Cobbler. However, I only use peaches so did not add the blueberries to the filling or the nutmeg to the topping that the original recipe called for.
The very first thing we did to get ready was to go to the farmers market and get some peaches. I told Madalyn to look for ripe but firm peaches this way when they cook they do not become mushy and they must be flavorful.
I had Maddie read the entire recipe and then gather all the ingredients and utensils that she would need.
Next Madalyn peeled and removed the pits from the peaches. It was really interesting to watch her peel the peaches. It was obvious that she is not quite used to using a paring knife while holding a piece of fruit in her hand. She placed the peaches down on a plate and sawed the skin off. She mentioned that her dad had noticed this too and thought it was funny but I assured her that we all start off doing things a littler different but with practice she would become more at ease using a knife.
Then it was time to start preparing the two parts of this recipe making the peach filling and then preparing the topping. The peach filling:
1 T cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups sliced peaches
1 T butter
1 T lemon juice.
Madalyn mixed the first three ingredients and then added the peaches. The next direction was to cook and stir until the mixture thickened. Then she added 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. I told Madalyn that I ususally keep the peaches in the pan until the topping has been prepared and then pour into ovenware dish.
As she was putting the wet ingredients together I was asking, “Do you know why you need lemon juice and corn starch in the peaches?” When she answered, “No”, I explained that the cornstarch is for thickening and the lemon juice is to help the peaches retain their beautiful yellow color. It would be easier to just have her put everything into a pan and stir but I think it is important that she know the ‘why’ of cooking too.
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
¼ softened butter.
First she sifted all the dry ingredients together and then added the milk and butter all at once and beat until smooth.
Now that the wet and dry ingredients were done Madalyn worked to put both together before popping into the oven. She poured the warm peaches into an ovenware dish (I have always used my Corning ware) and then spread the topping over the peaches. Before putting into the oven she sprinkled granulated sugar over the topping and then baked for thirty minutes in a 350º oven.
It turned out just delicious!! Of course peach cobbler must be served warm with vanilla ice cream.
At dinner we talked about her cooking experience.
I asked, “How did you like making the peach cobbler?”
Madalyn replied, “Making the peach cobbler was really fun! It was a lot of work but in the end it was really yummy!”
I asked, “Do you like learning how to cook?”
Madalyn answered, “I like learning to cook because it will prepare me for making my own food instead of buying things that I have to put in a microwave.”
Madalyn then declared, “I like cooking with you Grandma, it is a lot of fun.”
With much happiness I exclaimed, “Good, because I like cooking with you too!”