Peach cobbler, even out of season

Canned bounty leads to treats all year

Canned bounty leads to treats all year

October 08, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Patricia Swisher can say, without hesitation, that her family is spoiled.

Swisher's husband and three children can get peach cobbler anytime they want - even after peach season.

And just how are they so lucky?

"I'm into canning things," said Swisher, 47, a spa therapist from Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Swisher cans peaches, cherries - you name it, she cans it. It's a tradition Swisher said she learned from her grandmother, Beulah Stanley, 88.

"She was raised in the country so she taught me a lot about cooking," Swisher said.

Swisher has picked up many of her grandmother's country ways. She and her husband, Mike, 41, built what she calls her country dream home on a 16-acre plot in rural Berkeley Springs. They own horses, chickens and make plenty of hay.

Swisher also has adopted her grandmother's recipes for peach cobbler and corn pudding.

"That was like our treat when we were at grandmother's," she said. "She always had a peach cobbler or cherry cobbler and she would make homemade ice cream to top the cobbler."


Oh, and Swisher does the homemade ice cream, too.

The question, Swisher said, is whether her children will pick up the tradition. She elaborated during an interview in her kitchen.

Q: So do you think canning is something you will pass down to your children?

A: Laurie (her 27-year-old daughter) says "Canned peaches are four for a dollar, why would you put yourself through this?" But this past Christmas she said, "Next time, I want to watch you."

Q: So tell me about your grandmother.

A: She's still alive. Her hair is all gray, layered and away from her face. She's 5 feet 5 inches tall, slim build, very blue eyes. She wears glasses from time to time. She lives in a Baltimore nursing home. The kitchen, that was where she was perfectly content. Cooking, she could do it with a blindfold on.

Q: What about your experiences cooking with your grandmother?

A: She was very patient. She would tie a dish towel around my waist. That was my apron. She had a little step stool - I wasn't tall enough to reach the counter. We would make cookies, cobblers and pies.

Q: What about some of your grandmother's other dishes. Are there some that you couldn't live without?

A: I couldn't live without her fried chicken. I make pretty good fried chicken, but not like hers.

Q: What about your peach cobbler. Does that come close?

A: Now, these two dishes, according to my family, they wouldn't know the difference if it was hers or mine.

Patricia's Peach Cobbler

1 quart of sliced peaches, blanched or canned
1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat peaches in a pan over low heat. Melt the butter in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Mix sugar, flour, milk and salt in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Ladle peaches over top of the mixture. Pour any remaining peach juice on top of the mixture. Bake for one hour. Serves 6 to 8.

- Courtesy of Patricia Swisher

Patricia's Corn Pudding

1 (15.5-ounce) can of crushed corn
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 stick of butter

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix corn, eggs, flour, milk, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a 9-inch-by-9-inch baking dish. Place butter, in square slices, across the top of the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven and stir. Bake for another half-hour. Serves 6 to 8.

- Courtesy of Patricia Swisher

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