I love summer! The long days and the warm temperatures. The thought of going on vacation somewhere—be it the beach, the mountains or somewhere in between. I love the feeling of almost being a kid again when I get the chance to splash in a pool, or eat an ice cream cone, or swing on a porch swing. But most of all, I my favorite part is the fresh produce from the garden and the fruit trees.
There have always been gardens in my life. When I was younger, my parents had an enormous garden. We had the staples of green beans, corn, cucumbers and tomatoes, with varying extras of okra or squash, peanuts or other items my dad might be trying to grow. I learned how to tend and harvest a garden when I was young, and also learned how to preserve the bounty in delicious ways.
The harvest always seems to come at the same time, or at least that is how it feels. There are always those weeks when your kitchen counter is piled high with beans, tomatoes, squash and okra—it looks like deconstructed gumbo! I'm also a sucker when friends call to say "Hey, we've got this, do you want some?" I'll never say no to free food that can be preserved for my family to use during the winter. And that's exactly what happened to me not too long ago.
My sister-in-law called to say someone had blessed her with a bounty of peaches. She wanted to know if I would like to have any to put up for the winter. Of course I jumped at the chance, thinking it would only be a few. Upon arriving at her house, I found two bushel baskets waiting—I can only hope the shock I felt didn't show on my face!
When I got home, I decided I would can a good portion of them, dehydrate a few and make peach cobbler. I love peach cobbler; it’s definitely a favorite dessert of mine. I think I could eat an entire cobbler and not feel guilty—at least not right away. I have the easiest peach cobbler recipe ever and thought I would share it with you, in case you're blessed with an abundance of peaches, or any other kind of fruit. This cobbler can be made with any fruit that you may have on hand.
• 1 stick butter
• 1.5 cups sugar
• 1 cup self rising flour
• 1 cup milk
• 2 cups (or more) of any type of fruit, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray non-sticking cooking spray on a 9x13 pan. Put one stick of butter in the pan and put the pan in the oven to melt the butter.
2. While the butter is melting, mix together the flour and sugar. Stir in the milk until the mixture looks like a batter.
3. Once the butter is melted, pull the pan out of the oven. Pour the batter into the pan, on top of the butter, evenly, scraping as you go to remove all the batter. Do not stir!
4. On top of the batter, evenly place the chopped fruit. If there appears to be empty spaces, you can put more fruit. Again, do not stir! This is a "dump cobbler"—you dump everything in the pan on top of each other.
5. Bake the cobbler for 40 to 45 minutes, or until batter is set and golden brown. Let cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
I hope you are able to make up a cobbler and enjoy it soon. I plan to share more easy recipes and many other things you can make from scratch in the future.
Do you have any easy recipes from your kitchen that you always receive compliments for? Let us know in the comments below what some of your favorites are—maybe we can inspire each other and start sharing them!
Amy lives in North Carolina, where she is working towards learning all areas of self-sufficiency. Amy, along with her husband, four kids and three dogs, but has aspirations to own chickens, goats, pigs, cows, bees and more! Their current steps toward homesteading include a large garden from which they can the produce, along with freezing and dehydrating other fruits and vegetables. Amy's hobbies including trying new homesteading ventures, sewing, cooking, crocheting and learning how to "make her own" anything. Eventually, she and her family want to move to the country where to fulfill their wildest homesteading dreams!