There are a few things that I can tell I directly inherited from my mother’s father. My grandfather, who instilled in me a lifelong love for cribbage and a tendency to whistle Red River Valley, also gave me his serious sweet tooth. While I tend to swing more in the tart sour candy territory, I will never turn down a cookie…or cupcake, milkshake or well, anything else. And neither will he. In fact, my stepdad often jokes that if you turn down dessert after dinner saying “I’ll have some later,” there is no guarantee that there will be any left by the time Papa is done.
He even keeps a stash of candy in his dresser drawer so that if the cookie jar in the kitchen ever runs low, he knows the next sugar fix is secure. And even though he hasn’t been able to see for years, he can identify numerous packages of sweets from the shape of the box alone. It’s uncanny — he is practically a chocolate whisperer.
And like any good grand-daughter, I do my best to keep him well supplied on homemade treats whenever I come to visit. The last time I was up in Tacoma, there was actually a double whammy of special, once-a-year events that led to a potential sweet-overload for the whole family.
The first day was spent at the Puyallup Fair, where we ate burgers slathered in grilled onions, saw giant pumpkins lurking in a field and stocked up on the unbelievably delicious Fair Scones.
The second day we celebrated my grandfather’s 97th birthday. Even though we had brought him home a bag full of Fair scones to munch on, it wouldn’t have felt right without an extra-special dessert.
I wasn’t up to making a fussy cake, but I did want to try out something different. I stumbled across a recipe for Blackberry Cobbler on the Pioneer Woman’s blog and it sounded perfect (note: I used frozen raspberries). It was a little less like cobblers that I have known and more akin to one of my favorite summer desserts — Mixed Berry Spoonbread.
In fact, the recipes are eerily similar, with maybe an egg being the main difference. However, while I will still probably use my spoonbread recipe first (it is SO delicious and easy to make), this one was a nice, subtle change of pace. It looked beautiful, especially with an extra sprinkling of sugar about ten minutes before pulling it from the oven. And even though it’s full of butter, it still manged to feel light.
This would be a great tea cake, by the way. In fact, if there had been leftovers, I might have even eaten this instead of a scone the next morning. Oh okay, I wouldn’t have — Fair Scones are a hot commodity! But any other time of the year I would definitely say yes to this for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee.
And of course, added dollops of whipped cream certainly helped make it more decadent. Here’s to you Papa — I promise I’ll make you something chocolatey next year! After all, the man who taught me how to count up 15-2, 15-4 and a run for 8, deserves no less.