The Great Cobbler Debacle Of 2018 + 12 Fruit-Based Desserts Explained

In the aftermath of the debacle there were questions, reasonable ones.

How could this have happened? What recipe did you use?

I used a recipe I found online from what I thought was from a reliable source.  Fake news, meet fake recipes.  But here’s the thing, I didn’t double-check the recipe, comparing it with other recipes, like a smart person would do.

After the debacle, when I found a wonderful recipe by the Barefoot Contessa, I realized that I had used a recipe with the wrong batter to fruit ratio.

Did you set the oven to the correct temperature?

I did, but after the debacle I checked the oven temperature with a thermometer to confirm that the oven was heating like it should.  It is not.

In fact it’s heating about 25º below where it should be so the cobbler baked at the wrong temperature.  Hence, the cobbler remained a soggy mess even when it’d been in the oven for twice the suggested time.

 How much money did you waste on this debacle?

Oh, the shame.  I hang my head as I tell you that I bought raspberries and blackberries and blueberries for this untested recipe, assuming it’d be a wonderful desert.  But it wasn’t, it never even made it to the table– thus my $12.00 worth of berries were lost.

And from a good friend trying to distract me: what are the differences among the various fruit-based desserts? Do you know?

I didn’t know the answer to her question, so I did some research, which was a good way for me, an egghead, to get over the debacle.  This is what I learned.

• • •

BROWN BETTY – fresh fruit [often apples], spiced, then baked under buttered bread crumbs

BUCKLE – single layer cake that rises up around the fruit that is in the middle, making fruit buckle down, while cake forms circle above it

CLAFOUTI – fresh fruit [often cherries] covered with a flan-like batter and baked, usually in a cast iron skillet

COBBLER – fruit sweetened in a way that creates a thick syrup, with dough plopped on top like individual biscuits that when baked looks like a cobblestone street

CRISP – fresh fruit, spiced with cinnamon [+ other spices sometimes], baked with streusel topping

CRUMBLE – buttery crumbs that include oats with sweetened fruit baked between two layers of crumbs

GRUNT – fruit base with sweetened biscuits or dumplings on top, cooked in covered skillet on the stove top, named for the sound the fruit makes while it cooks

PANDOWDY – a baked pie [usually apple] that has a thick crust on top with slits that allow the juices to bubble up onto the top of the pie, then using a spoon one pushes the crust down as it bakes so that the dessert looks dowdy when taken from the oven

PIE – sweetened and thickened fruit as the filling, baked, usually in a round pan, between lower pastry and top pastry or crumb topping

PING – fruit [usually cherries], covered in a sweet sauce, with spoonfuls of dough that form a crust on top that when tapped makes a hollow pinging sound that indicates it’s finished baking

SHORTCAKE – I’m not going down this road again… click here & read what we discussed earlier this year

SLUMP – fruit base with sweetened biscuits or dumplings on top, cooked in covered skillet on the stove top wherein the topping slumps into the fruit

• • •

Sources of general information + a few specific recipes: Serious Eats, Huffington Post, the spruce Eats, FLOURISH, kitchn, Cook’s Country, COOKS.COM.

• • •

I’ve eaten 9 of the 12 desserts defined above.  I’ve not had Brown Betty, nor have I had Grunt or Slump– which some sources say are the same thing.  🤨

In Which Ms. Bean Is An Accessory After The Fact, Maybe

TECHNICALLY I am guilty.

That’s what Zen-Den, Esq, tells me.

That by not reporting what I saw to the authorities I aided in, but was not an accomplice with, someone who stole something;  that I am an accessory after the fact.

Well, so be it, says I.

Sometimes the entertainment value of not doing what you’re supposed to do is worth risking the wrath of the law.  As if this situation would ever involve the police.

You see, I was in the Self-Scan lane at the grocery checking out when I noticed a mother with a baby and a 5 y.o. boy.  The Mom was showing/supervising/focusing on Young Boy as he learned how to use the scanner.

🛒 → 😇 → 👶 ← 😇←🛒

MEANWHILE Baby Brother was sitting like a sweet angelic cherub in the seat part of the basket cart.

Mom had placed on the basket cart one of those quilted blanket-y thingies that attach to the seat part of the cart so that the baby never touches the basket cart itself.  [I have no idea what to call those things.]

Baby Brother, after looking at Mom to make sure she wasn’t paying attention to him, in a calculated and deliberate move, used his pudgy little paw to grab a toothbrush from the basket part of the cart.

I’m assuming that Mom had put the toothbrush in the cart as she was shopping in the store, planning on buying the toothbrush.

🛒→ 😁 → 👶 ← 😁 ←🛒

HOWEVER Baby Brother with the sticky fingers was planning to do something different.

His plan involved him hiding the toothbrush, where no one would see it, in front of himself in the folds of the puffy fabric that surrounded him.

Mine, mine, mine, his smile said!

This was a brazen theft right under everyone’s nose, except me who happened to see what Baby Brother swiped.  I could have, of course, squealed on him to Mr. Man who was in charge of the Self-Scan lane, but I chose not to.

And I cannot for sure say that Mom didn’t find & pay for the toothbrush before she left the store because I was out the door long before she and Young Boy finished scanning their purchases.

But I can say that I don’t know when I’ve laughed so hard leaving a grocery store, my cart filled with items, legally purchased, and my heart filled with the joy that comes from watching babies do what babies do.

One Grocery Shopping Trip, Three Unexpected Observations

When they ask you, my gentle readers, when did you first notice that Ally Bean was beginning to fray around the edges, please point them to this.

~ ~ 🌞 ~ ~

OBSERVATION #1 {inside the grocery store}

Our store is having what I’ll call a re-shelving extravaganza in the middle of the store.  I don’t know why they’re re-setting the store, but many items that were somewhere on a shelf, are now somewhere else, often many aisles away.

I couldn’t find the crystalized ginger which was part of the healthy food department, so I asked an employee where it might be now.

Without a hint of irony the employee said: “It’s in aisle 7, under the sign that says Meat Snacks.”

And so there it was, by the beef jerky. 🤨

OBSERVATION #2 {in the grocery store parking lot}

Leaving the store walking to my car, I noticed a bumper sticker on a newish SUV with a license plate that said it was from this county.  The vehicle appeared to have kid stuff in the back seat.

I mention the possible kid angle because the bumper sticker was, to my way of thinking, a bit coarse for a family vehicle around here in this God-fearing politically conservative community.  I wasn’t clutching my pearls because of it, but I was surprised.

In large letters visible from far away the bumper sticker said: BERNIE F*ck This Sh!t.  [I’ve modified the message because this is still a PG-13 blog, but you get the gist of what it said.]

And so there it was, on a vehicle parked next to the cart corral for all to see. 🙁

Observation #3 {driving home from the grocery store}

Driving home, slowing down to make a righthand turn at the light, I noticed that on the large community calendar electronic sign in front of the fire station there were three words that seemed out-of-place.

While we live in an upscale subdivision, most of this township and county are less well-off and rural;  hence the conservative MAGA political nature of things around here.  Thus when I saw what I saw I was bemused, but slightly baffled.

Not because of anything rude, but because I cannot fathom why the community calendar electronic sign in front of the fire station said: “Et tu, Miami?”

And so there it was, a classic Latin phrase made famous by Shakespeare + a reference to the North American Indian Algonquian people. 🤔

~ ~ 🌞 ~ ~

So, things making sense where you are? Or are things slightly off-kilter everywhere you look?

Let Us Talk Lettuce: Roaming For Romaine

Walking into the grocery store, my list in hand, looking for first item on my list, green leaf lettuce.

Am about to grab some green leaf lettuce when I’m approached by young woman, early 20s, cute in a confused but earnest way, who asks me if she can ask me a question.

And so the conversation began…

~ 🥗 ~ 💚 ~ 🥗 ~

HER: I’m supposed to buy my dad some romaine lettuce.

{pause}

ME: Yes…

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand where the romaine lettuce is…

ME: It’s down the way to our–

HER: This isn’t romaine lettuce, is it?

[She has a plastic bag filled with something green and leafy.  She puts the plastic bag directly in front of my face, about 6″ in front of my eyes… because I’m old, I guess, and she wants to make sure that I can see what is in the bag.]

ME: No, that’s Napa cabbage.  It’s not romaine lettuce.

HER: This is CABBAGE?  In the lettuce department?

ME: Yes, it’s leafy and looks sort of like romaine lettuce, but it’s cabbage… and won’t work if you’re looking for lettuce.

{pause}

HER: What does it taste like?

ME: Cabbage.

{pause}

HER: Is that lettuce?  It’s red.

ME: Yes, that’s red leaf lettuce.  It’s lettuce… as is the green leaf lettuce beside it that I’m going to buy.

HER: Lettuce can be RED?

ME: Yes.

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand lettuce.  How do you know which one is which?

ME: There are little tags on the shelves below each kind of lettuce that tell you what it is.

[She takes the opportunity to turn her head sideways and notice the little tags, reading a few of them.]

HER: Huh. That’s helpful.

ME: Yes it is.  Now if you go down the way to our right–

HER: LOOK AT THAT! The tag says Napa cabbage.  That’s what I picked up.

ME: Uh huh.  Down the way, to our right, there are bags of–

HER: What am I going to do with this Napa cabbage that I don’t want?

ME: Put it back. On the shelf. With all the other Napa cabbages.

{pause}

HER: I can do that?

ME: Yes, and down the way, to our right, there are bags of romaine lettuce that have three–

HER: THREE!!! Yes, that’s what my dad said.  Bags of three. Where are they?

ME: Down the way. To our right, where the big sign talks about–

HER: Yes, yes.  I see it.  How did I miss it?  Thanks.

[She scampers off to buy a bag of romaine lettuce, leaving me to finish my sentence, unheard and definitely unheeded.]

ME: — where the big sign talks about the current dangers surrounding consumption of romaine lettuce.

~ The End ~

No Salt For You: A Circular Dinnertime Conversation Between The Married People

You know how in the movies married couples have these amazing heart-to-heart conversations over a home-cooked meal? We’re not like that.

Our conversations are more like a Looney Tunes cartoon.

~ ~ ~ ~

Me, putting a plate of hot food in front of him: Don’t want any salt on your dinner.

Him: Ok.

Me, sitting down to eat: How does it taste?

Him: Tastes good. It doesn’t need salt.

Me: Good. Then you don’t want any salt on it.

Him, giving me an odd look: Yes, I don’t want any salt on my dinner.

Me: Excellent.

Him, still staring at me: Yep, quite tasty as it is.

Me: Uh huh.

Him: ARE YOU EVER GOING TO TELL ME WHY I CAN’T HAVE ANY SALT ON MY DINNER?

Me: Oh, sorry, you don’t know. We’re out of salt so don’t want any salt on your dinner.

Him: You’ve said that.

Me, distracted by the merry-go-round of thoughts in my brain: What?

Him: I don’t want any salt on my dinner.

Me: Well, good. That’s what I told you to do.

Him, giving me a sidelong glance: Yep, you did. Happy to cooperate. Wouldn’t want any salt on my dinner… oh. no. I. wouldn’t.

Me, half listening: Uh huh… what? Ok.

~ ~ ~ ~

Could it be that The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down is the Looney Tunes Theme? Why by golly, it is.

~ ~ ~ ~

That’s all Folks!

My Week: First There’s No, Then There’s Yes

From the title of this post… you might infer that I’m going to talk about how to be a better sales person.

I could do that.  I worked in sales for years and know a thing or five about how to manipulate encourage buyers to say “yes” to whatever it is you’re selling.

But that’d be boring for you, my gentle readers.

And honestly as an introvert, I try to forget about those years when I dragged greeting card sales samples around with me and drove all over everywhere and made cold calls.

*shudder*

So instead of babbling about… sales strategies, today I’m going to share some photos that explain, in a silly way, the lows and highs of my week.

Sometimes I feel like nuanced thinking does not exist and I live in a suburban morality play that centers around a simple dichotomy of No or Yes.

~ ~ ~ ~

NO: Seen by the side of the trail in the park, this box suggested that I’d find a Magical Gem inside it.  It was empty.

~ ~ ~ ~

YES: Found in the Kroger parking lot, these pennies were just laying on the ground.  I snatched them up anticipating 23 days of good luck for me.

~ ~ ~ ~

NO: Growing wild in the forest primeval behind our house, this daffodil had no interest in being photographed.

~ ~ ~ ~

YES: Sitting pretty in our foyer, this particular nosy tulip peeked around the corner into the hallway to watch me in the kitchen.

~ ~ ~ ~

NO: Seen on a parked car bumper, this sticker spoke to me, explaining why lately I feel like I’m stuck in a causality loop.

~ ~ ~ ~

YES: Changing each night in the sky above, the moon has been visible lately, reminding me that things move at their own pace… so be chill.

~ ~ ~ ~

At The Pharmacy: But I Don’t Like This Answer, Said She

Never ask a question until you are prepared to hear an answer.  

That’s basic communication theory and common sense, I do believe.

Lawyers know this.  Teachers know this.  Police detectives know this.

Bloggers come to know this, usually the hard way.

Ask a question you assume you know the answer to: “Don’t you agree that Muskrat Love is the worst song ever?”  You may think that everyone will say: “Yes!”  But I’ll guarantee you that someone in the comments will say “No” and then explain why it’s their favorite song of all time.

• • •

Anyhoo, getting to the point of this post, I found myself laughing at myself because I asked a question to which I was not prepared to hear the answer.

OH. NO. I. WASN’T.

You see, I was at the pharmacy picking up my prescription.  It was the first time this year that I had it refilled.

The worried look on the pharmacy tech’s face probably should have warned me, but when she said: “oh, your prescription has gone up in price” I instantly said: “how much?”

Trust me when I say I was not prepared to hear the answer to my question.  An answer that was: “oh, 200%– or a little more.”  

HUH?

I didn’t throw a hissy fit, nor did I get upset with this pharmacy tech, she’s just the messenger of bad news.  I went ahead and bought this medicine that technically I could live without;  I need the script to see straight in a comfortable way, not in a life or death way.

But I will say that I was shocked by the answer to my question, and kind of startled into remembering that no matter where you go, or what you do, the answer to your question may not make you happy.

COMMON SENSE, RE-LEARNED.