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Monday, July 16, 2012

possum granny's dump cobbler

Back before my husband and I ever got married, his mother taught me this cobbler recipe.  She didn't write it down, and I didn't either.  I may have tweaked it a little bit.  My memory may have faded.  But, it still turns out darn tasty.

No, my mother in law is not Possum Granny, in case you're wondering.  That would have been her granny.  Or maybe her husband's granny.  I can never quite remember.  At any rate, this recipe is old.

How did Possum Granny get her name?  I gave it to her, that's how!  And, don't tell my husband.  He might be offended.  Then again, he told me the story that led to her nomenclature, so he might not be.  Let's chance it.

Apparently, and this is only if my memory serves me correctly, I heard the story quite some time ago, a young man who was just learning how to be a preacher was sent to Possum Granny's community many years ago.  He needed a place to stay, and she had the room, so he wound up living with her over the course of several months.  Now, back in those days, hollows were called hollers and people cooked all sorts of small animals for supper.  One of Granny's specialties was, you guessed it, possum.  Or, opossum if you want to be proper.  So, Granny fixed some possum for this young preacher.  Maybe she fixed it many times.  I don't know because I wasn't there.  Use your imagination.  Apparently, he liked it.  I don't know about this either because I have never, nor would I ever, eat a possum.  They are just too cute.

Some years passed and Granny eventually met her fate.  The no-longer-young preacher happened to speak at her funeral.  The one thing, he said, that he would always remember about Granny was that she had taught him to eat possum.  That's right.  She taught him to eat his first possum.

The crowd roared, so the story goes.  You see, apparently "possum" is another word for pussy in those parts.  So, Granny had taught the preacher how to eat pussy.  Oh my.  At least the mourners had a sense of humor about them.  That's all I can say about that.

Stories like this, and recipes like the one that follows, are important to me to pass down to my children (at the proper age, that is!) because they convey a sense of family history.  I don't have my Granny's recipe book, nor do I know who does.  You wouldn't want to eat some of my mother's cooking, and my mother-in-law doesn't really cook at all anymore.  So, we have very few family recipes other than that of the dump cobbler.  As I cook more and more from scratch and perfect recipes that I find through friends and online, I want to keep a written record of my family's favorite meals so that the special foods are not forever lost.

Have you started a recipe collection?  Is it handwritten or in digital form?  Do you use a recipe book or cards?

Possum Granny's Dump Cobbler

The first time I made this, I used strawberries.  They didn't work so well.  Then, I tried cherries, but my pitter missed about half the pits.  I've found peach is delicious, as well as blackberry.  I would recommend just using your favorite fruit as it comes into season.  This recipe is a favorite year-round.

2 cups of fresh fruit or 1 can of pie filling
1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 stick of butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon or other complimentary spices to taste

Set oven to 350 degrees.  Place your stick of butter in the bottom of a 9 by 13 baking dish and put the dish in the oven as it preheats.  Once the butter is melted, remove dish from oven. Mix together flour, sugar, egg, baking powder, vanilla, and spices and pour into the pan. Place fruit on top of batter in one generous layer.  The batter will start to puff up as it sits in the hot pan, but don't fret!  Just keep on putting the fruit on there.  Bake for 50 minutes or until top of cobbler is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping and enjoy!

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