Side Orders: Peach cobbler recipe remembers and honors an old friend

Anne Braly
Anne Braly
photo Anne Braly

I don't know how many times I look back on my dear departed friend and former Tennessee Agriculture Extension Agent Marilyn Geraldson with a smile on my face, remembering hers.

I'll never forget her infectious laugh and the many times we sat out on her back porch joking and laughing and, of course, talking about food. It's hard to believe she's been gone for almost three years now. She had one of the most remarkable senses of humor I've ever known and was such a good cook. Food and laughter are gifts from God, as is friendship.

As I said, I think of her often, but it's especially true this time of year when peaches are ripe and ready to eat. Marilyn wrote a cookbook years ago, "The Veggie Lady Shares Tips and Recipes - Not Just Veggies," and I am lucky to have one in my collection as it's no longer in print and the copies that were printed back in 2006 sold out quickly. My copy has several pages that are well-worn and smudged with gooey delicious ingredients that have dripped on its pages. None is more pockmarked than page 339 with its one recipe for fresh peach cobbler. In fact, I've turned to it so often in past years, the book automatically opens to that page when I open the book. Many cooks have a cookbook so treasured.

I think of this cobbler as more of a clafouti, but Marilyn calls it a fresh peach cobbler, so that's what we're going to stick with. It's the easiest of all cobblers to make because there's nothing more to it than melting butter; mixing together flour, sugar and milk with some spices; tossing in the peaches and letting it bake. That's it. All it needs is a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, as Marilyn would say.

Marilyn Geraldson's Fresh Peach Cobbler

2 large ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, no substitute, melted

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of ground nutmeg

3/4 cup milk

In a bowl, combine peaches and 3/4 cup sugar; set aside. Pour melted butter into an 8-inch square baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and remaining sugar; stir in milk until just combined. Pour over melted butter, and top with peaches. Do not stir. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

FiveStar Food Fight

Chattanooga Market will be smokin' on Sunday when five local chefs go skillet to skillet in the annual FiveStar Food Fight to see who's the best of the best, coming up with some delicious dishes with no advance knowledge of what ingredients they'll be using. It's a matter of wit, creativity, quick thinking and nerves of steel.

All five chefs will be awarded cookware from Lodge cast iron, but only one will take home the coveted, one-of-a-kind metal trophy designed by Chattanooga Market artist Allen Hampton. The winner also will be awarded automatic entry into the World Food Championship scheduled to take place Oct. 16-20 in Dallas.

Competing chefs are:

» Shane Lee Stone, High Haute Foods

» Jeremy Auspitz, Alimentari Cucina e Bar

» Kevin Korman, Whitebird Chattanooga

» Amanda Kelly Tait, Beast + Barrel

» Jason Greer, SideTrack

The fight begins with the introduction of chefs at 11:30 a.m. Sunday and concludes with the announcement of the winner around 2:45 p.m. As always, admission to the market is free. And now is the time to come and get the freshest of summer's produce, including peaches to make Marilyn Geraldson's fresh peach cobbler.

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