Sunday, February 8, 2009


While we're on the subject of Pie: Pie has such a close relative in Cobbler, I wanted to mention a memorable dish that we stumbled upon on the way to Cincinnati last Summer. On a back-road meander through a little town, we found a little country diner---a rustic, comfy one of the Kafe'-with-a-K sort, and the walls covered with the proprietor's paintings of birdhouses and barns, each with a little Post-It pennant announcing the price. We partook of unimportant hamburgers, and asked what kind of pie.

That's what you DO in a diner. Even though CAKE is our favorite, and there WAS a pretty white one sitting under the flat-topped dome on the counter, there's just something about a DINER that says "Pie." And sometimes you order some of every kind, just to be friendly.

This time the choices were apple and pecan, neither of which appealed at the moment. We were about to pass on dessert, when the hostess (and owner) tilted her head slightly toward the kitchen-cutout and said, "Let me see if the Blackberry Cobbler has come out of the oven yet." (I remember her face and demeanor as the lady who recommended the Dutch Apple Pie to Starman in the diner---his first taste of Earthfood, and I loved the waitress' pleasure at the total enjoyment on his cream-smeared face).

She returned with a shallow bowl the size of a dinnerplate, two long iced-tea spoons---the better to share it with, My Dear---and a quite visible trail of fragrant steam. In the bowl was a BIG river of beautiful purple, little rivulets of lavender and mauve spreading as it melted the two huge scoops of vanilla atop the sugar-crusted lattice.

It was too hot to eat at first, but we were determined to dig in before it melted the ice cream into liquid, so we did. Spoon after spoon, it was the essence and life and vitality and round dark sweetness of every blackberry that ever swelled on the bramble. It was the most delicious cobbler I've ever tasted, big ole whole blackberries with their shapes altered just enough to let free all those pent-up Summer juices. I hope we can find that little out-of-the-way place again.

It in no way abrogates or invalidates my vote for cake---no hanging chads or recounts or concessions---it's still cake for me. But that was GOOOD cobbler.


Tonja said...

I remember Starman. I didn't think any one but me ever saw that movie. He did like that pie, didn't he?
My MIL who lives with Jesus now, could make the best pear and peach cobblers. Nothing better!

racheld said...

So could my first MIL---she was an angel then and now, and could make the best desserts anywhere. I still long for her caramel pound cake recipe.