and I just finished putting up peaches. A neighbor brought a fresh-picked
box from a nearby orchard. Now, “putting up peaches” can mean canning
with a cooker, freezing in the freezer or making jam.
No matter the process, the peach must briefly be placed into boiling
water to loosen the skin from the meat. The final results require
some peeling before final destination.
Each year of my early home life, everyone in the family including
the bunk house employees shared the work of putting up peaches,
fryer-size chickens, butchering beeves and hogs and picking wild
The mention of peaches brings to mind a story from 1951 on the old
Griffin/Trew Ranch in the old rock house at the headquarters on
Rana Creek. The late Jack Buxton of Logan, N.M., and I were single,
batching cowboys — big men with big appetites and somewhat limited
in cooking expertise. We could cook meat, biscuits, pinto beans
and gravy. Though we both had “sweet teeth,” we were deficient in
sweet recipes and the necessary ingredients to concoct.
With the screw worm season in full swing, we left before daylight,
riding one horse and leading another and with saddle bags filled
with screw worm dope, not leaving room for lunch of any size. We
returned each evening late as tired cowboys riding sweating horses.
The missed lunch had our backbones rubbing against the front lining
of our empty stomachs. That evening meal became the high point of
mother devised a recipe even cowboys could produce. It called for
a certain size Bisquick box and a certain size sack of sugar, all
mixed and poured into a big pan. Last came a gallon of store-bought
sliced peaches. She called it an upside-down cobbler; because of
the size, we called it “super cobbler.” Just place the mixture into
a preheated oven and miraculously, the crust rose to the top and
browned. To the best of my memory, Jack and I ate one of these about
every five days all summer and appreciated every bite.
As a growing boy of 17, I credit the super cobbler with saving my
life several times. Many an afternoon, as I watched the sun slowly
creep across the New Mexico sky, I called upon my vision of the
super cobbler to restore my energy enough to get back to the house
and unsaddle my tired horse.
I offer this salute to my mother and that grand dessert.
© Delbert Trew
23, 2012 column
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