I miss cooking, I really do. I used to prepare meals all the time—for friends, for my kids, just for myself. I’m not an amazing cook, mind you. But I love the process, from chopping and stirring to arranging everything on pretty serving dishes.
When Lyme hit and left me breathless with shock, I couldn’t stand up long enough to stir a sauce, much less haul my pain-riddled self up and down the aisles of the grocery store and stand in the check-out line.
Now that I’m improving, I manage to make something special once in a while when I have a better day. Last week I made snickerdoodles rolled in glittery purple and orange sugar for my son to take back to Clemson University. I’m not well enough to travel there, but finally being able to send along homemade sweets felt so good.
Today I was thinking about how I haven’t made fruit pies or jam this summer, or even picked berries with my friend Ruth—all way beyond what I’m able to do right now. Then something marvelous happened: Another friend brought by some fresh blackberries sent from Ruth, and I knew I had to bake. I had to make her blackberry cobbler.
What you need to know about Ruth is that she is an amazing cook.
And what you need to remember about cooking is, it doesn’t have to be hard work. This simple recipe never disappoints.
So, if you can manage it, gather the ingredients. If not, have someone do it for you. Get everything together like they do on cooking shows so you don’t have to take precious steps to the pantry and fridge.
Then sit on a chair or stool, and start stirring.
And if you aren’t well enough yet to follow the recipe, go ahead and ask someone to do it for you. Get out two forks. Then get set to enjoy some summer bliss when your creation emerges from the oven 45 minutes later.
There’s nothing better than savoring good food from the hands—or recipes—of someone you love.
Except maybe sharing it.
Ruth’s Blackberry Cobbler (6-8 servings)
Preparation time 5 minutes. (Isn’t that great?) Baking time 40-45 minutes.
1 1/2 sticks of butter cut up 1 1/2 cups milk at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp vanilla extract
(or gluten free baking mix)
1 1/2 cups sugar 2 cups of fresh, whole blackberries – or any other fruit—I
2 tsp baking powder like to combine several, like peaches and blueberries. (If
1/2 tsp salt using frozen fruit, thaw and press between paper towels
to release excess water)
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Place the butter in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and put it in the oven to melt.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then blend in milk and vanilla.
Remove the hot baking dish from the oven and pour in the batter, taking care not to splatter yourself with hot butter. Arrange blackberries or other fruit over the batter and return to the oven. Bake 40-45 minutes, cool on a wire rack, and serve warm or at room temperature. Vanilla ice cream puts this dessert over the top.
Tagged: blackberry cobbler, chronic illness, cobbler, cooking, dessert, fruit, lyme disease, recipe
I’m baffled; got two notices of comments sent to my phone, but they are invisible here on WordPress. I did get to read one, from someone who burst into tears reading this post. For whom even sitting with a friend who is baking for them is impossible. In fact, even calling someone to come over is beyond them. What I want to say to that person and everyone else in the same boat is: I want you to know that I have been there. It is a living hell. But the day will come when you improve. Meanwhile, call a friend, relative, or neighbor. Let them know you need some company. Start by saying, I’m really tired, can you come for 15 minutes? Forget the way you look. It’s just is not important weighed against breaking the isolation. And, as always, hang in there.
To the other person who commented, please try again-