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Texas | Columns | "It's All Trew"

Putting up peaches
brings back memories


by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew

Ruth 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 plums.

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 the day.

My 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 - October 23, 2012 column
More "It's All Trew"


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