Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

By: Zedeka Poindexter

Some families have parables about their history
They can spin loving tales about where they came from
We, we make peach cobbler
The best story we can tell you will fill your belly with memories
I have these things to share
A rolling pin and a cast iron skillet from my gran
And a recipe that is really more memory than manual
Bring water to a boil and add the following
Butter, because Gran accepted no substitutes the few times she decided to bake
Lemon and orange juices from a late-night experiment of mine
Brown sugar and a touch of white to complement the ripeness of your peaches
The perfect combination of cinnamon and nutmeg, that will remind you of my momma
Her slightly red complexion in the summer
It should taste earthy, not grainy
Not too sweet
Stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan
When the liquid clings to the back of your spoon – add peaches
Fresh ones
See, fresh peaches have a tang and texture that you can’t get out of cans
Those cook down to mush
But the fresh ones
Those let you know you’re really eating something
Remind us of the days beyond commodity cans when fresh fruit was more than just a
Let everything cook low and slow until the liquid tastes like the fruit you just added
You’re going to have to taste it
Taste it again
See we learn things by doing, and we don’t serve anything that hasn’t crossed our own
lips first
Your aunts will suck their teeth and push back their plates if you get it wrong
Pour the filling into a skillet, and cover the top with crust
Push that crust to the bottom
Now y’all know no one wants cobbler without extra crust
Cover the top again, and wait for the right doneness
The perfect color is somewhere between the shade of my palm and the back of my hand
When it cools, you will have the perfect way to close out a family dinner
And the scent of buttery citrus clinging to the kitchen
You will know that smell better than the way home
This is how we remember
With our potato salad, our jerk chicken, our seasoned vegetables
This peach cobbler
This is our collective memory on a warm plate
Heavy with history and assertive spice
Take a spoonful
Savor every bit of it
Let it linger on your tongue until you understand what it tastes like when someone loves
Take this recipe and make it your own
Accident your way into improvements
And if ever someone asks you who you are
Or who your people are
Make them this.

2 thoughts on “Peach Cobbler

  1. Wonderful, delectable, and personal recipe for an identity, whose ingredients come from the culture of generations: a life devolving to a dessert. Priceless.

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