Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer in Akron



Oh my goodness...there are SO MANY things to do around here that I just don't think there are enough hours in the days. Most of you know that I maintain a calendar of things in the area that are free (or at least cheap) at http://calendar.yahoo.com/akronstuff and while updating it this week I was simply amazed at the amount of things to do on any given day in Akron. Anyone that has the audacity to say they are bored with nothing to do must be crazy. OK, yes I admit some these things aren't for everyone, but hey, how do you know until you try them out?

Although it was a holiday weekend I stuck pretty close to home doing stuff like cleaning out the garage and prepping for painting in the kitchen. Yes, my friends, someday I will actually have a solid color on the walls and the kitchen finished. So this old biddy was not loose on the town for a couple of days. But I am definately looking forward to the upcoming weekend when I can go from event to event practically all day on Saturday and most of Sunday. The Italian Festival is coming to town and I hope to get to that. Plus a Bluesberry Fest out at Mustard Seed, a wine tasting at Western Reserve Wines and our second Porthouse Theater night with the gals on Saturday night. Whew, I'm getting tired just thinking about it!



Meanwhile I've been trying to get back to walking on the Towpath with John, our local volunteer extrodinaire and walking inspiration. He maintains a good solid, steady pace once or twice a week and gets me out in the fresh air for an hour or so. We even found some black raspberry bushes on the towpath last week and I threatened to come back to pick what's there when they ripen. The ones I stole last week were sweet and so yummy! There isn't much better than a berry right off the vine, still warm from the sunshine and sweet and juicy. Yum!

I do think that my friends Lynn and Grant must have heard me munching those berries clear up in Hudson because Lynn called on Friday and said they'd just picked a bunch of berries and did I want some! Whew! Way better than hoofing it back out on the towpath for a handful of berries!

So during our conversation at the berry exchanging lunch, the question popped up about the difference between a cobbler and a pie. I guess I must have grown up on the misconception that the "pie" my Mom always baked for us was a cobbler 'cause that's sure what she called it. Not so! According to research I did in my wonderful cookbook collection, a cobbler is more of a fruit cake than a pie. So no offense to my Mom's wonderful berry "cobblers" all those years ago (and sad to say I have no idea how she made them), the cobbler recipe I picked out of my Marcia Adams Heartland Cooking book was absolutely delectable! My new diet plans are once again out the window because with cobbler sitting around, you just can't not eat it - and the ice cream that goes on top is a given. Once this is gone I'm sorely temped to try out a recipe from Nick Malgierie who feels that the best cobblers are nothing more than sweetened berries baked underneath a sweet biscuit dough. Now really, how bad could that be?


The Cobbler recipe is as follows:

BLACK RASPBERRY COBBLER

1/2 c. melted butter
3/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 c. black raspberries

Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 7"x11" baking dish. Mix together the milk, 1 cup sugar, flour and baking powder. Pour this mixture over the butter. DO NOT STIR.
Pour the berries over the batter and butter. DO NOT STIR.

Pour the remaining sugar over the berries. DO NOT STIR.

Bake the cobbler at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is browned and set.



To work off that cobbler I did make it out to my weekly walk with John last night. We started at the Mustill Store and walked north for a couple of miles. It was a beautiful evening for a walk and so peaceful on the towpath. I find that I truly enjoy these little excursions. It's helping with my muscle tone, breathing and getting a little fresh air. The towpath is expanding rapidly and new sections are opening annually. New sections have just been dedicated in the Firestone Park area connecting Bartges Street to Wilbeth and Waterloo roads. It's really very nice and easy to walk. If you have not tried it out you should put this on your list of things to do. The Ohio & Erie Canal Coalition have worked wonders with this idea for the benefit of all of Ohio. Learn more about what they've accomplished at http://www.ohioeriecanal.org/
As I said....so much to do! Maybe this is why that darn kitchen isn't getting painted!

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