Peach Jam is Fine, but Cobbler is Divine!

Flavor in a jar . . . .

Flavor in a jar . . . .

The subject of peaches came up recently.  Peach pie, peach cobbler, peach jam, peach smoothies, peaches and ice cream, and finally, just plain peaches, eaten fresh with juice dripping down your arm.  Conversation about Grandma Rose’s peach cobbler sent me to find a crusty, faded scrap of paper where I had tried to capture her recipe as she assembled a cobbler in her kitchen.  I have made this cobbler many times, and I think she would be proud that I managed to come close to hers.  I especially like that it cooks on the stove and I don’t have to heat the oven on a hot day.

Grandma Rose’s Peach Cobbler

10 ripe peaches, washed, peeled and sliced in 1″ chunks

1 cup of water

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. corn starch (I measure heaping Tbsp. if peaches are real juicy)

1 tsp. cinnamon

Place peaches in a round 10-inch pan with lid (I use Mom’s old pan that is 5″ deep with a domed lid adding 1″ to allow for room for the dumplings).  Add water, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon, bring to a boil on stove-top. Stir corn starch in enough water to make a smooth paste and add slowly to peach mixture, mixing in a little warm juice to dilute. Continue stirring to avoid lumps in juice.  Cook peach mixture over medium heat until juice has thickened.

Dumplings

1-1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

dash salt

3 tsp. baking powder

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Add approximately 3/4 cup milk to make stiff dough

Mix all dumpling ingredients until moistened and dough has a tacky texture.  Drop in large spoonfuls on the top of boiling peach mixture, completely covering peaches. Put on tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to low.  Cook for approximately 30 minutes or until dumplings are puffed high and fully cooked.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.  Heavenly!

A Journey With Great Horned Owls – Chapter II

"Hey, it's nice out here!" . . . .

“Hey, it’s nice out here!” . . . .

After observing a second baby owl in the opening of the tree where they have been nesting, we grew very excited when we finally spotted the young one in an adjoining tree. The first leg of a long journey had begun, and so far it was safe and sound high up off the ground.  A sibling did not fare so well and we had to stand by and wring our hands over its demise.  We were prepared to intervene for the sake of saving this little baby.

A proud parent keeps a watchful eye . . . .

A proud parent keeps a watchful eye . . . .

Over the next several days we watched for the little owl, siting him in several locations clustered around the nesting tree.  We worried when the winds blew and rains came, wondering if it held on through the turbulence.  Each time we spotted the little owl, it had moved a greater distance in a progression of moves that would strengthen its ability to hop and fly a bit.

Little bundle of feathers . . . .

Little bundle of feathers . . . .

Owls have beautiful camouflage that makes it hard to pick them out against the tree bark and branches.  The white fluff on parts of the baby owl’s body aided us in locating it snuggled into its roosting place.

"Time to take a little trip" . . . .

“Time to take a little trip” . . . .

The adult owl appears to be urging the little one to a new location.  Perched out on a broken off limb, the view north is of more trees off in the distance.  We saw the little owl the next day perched high in a silver leaf poplar tree looking eastward to a tall hill.  Ideally, the next maneuver would be touch-and-go flight patterns from the tree to the hill, which we have observed previously with baby owls.  Soon after we heard no more owl conversations and assume they have moved on to a new location.  It is our hope they will return in January and start the cycle of nesting and raising their young nearby again.