Book Break with Blackwood Crossing - Old-Fashioned Blackberry Cobbler
A freezer filled with berries means enjoying summer-style desserts all year round. The snow was coming down as the aroma from this tasty dessert filled the kitchen. Paired with a delicious Highland-blend tea, the spread offered a nice and relaxing setting for an afternoon writing break.
Of course, Rhona and Charles would not have had berry cobbler in either Scotland or England, but since the cobbler is a "relative" to the puddings they would have enjoyed, we're okay with the leap. They would, however, enjoyed copious amounts of tea.
Did you know: Cobblers (the dessert, not the shoe repair folks) originated in the British American colonies. English settlers had to get creative when they couldn't find all of the ingredients and equipment needed for their traditional puddings. They stewed up wild berries (I'm guessing they were wild), topped with uncooked biscuits or dumplings, baked it, and voila!
Enjoy an Excerpt from Blackwood Crossing
“This is not a fight you want.” Charles held his pistol steady on the rider closest to him and moved from the shadows.
“Ye canna shuit us both.”
“But we can.” Devon walked his horse forward on the other side. “Slowly remove your guns and toss them to the ground.”
Charles watched them closely, and when they didn’t comply, he shifted his horse until he stared directly at both riders. “My friend will assist, but I promise you don’t want that. Drop them, now.”
Slowly the men pulled the guns from their belts, but it was the loud report of Devon’s revolver that drew Charles’s eyes to the man slumped over in the saddle.
“Your friend chose wrong.” Charles watched the handgun drop into the snow. “Good. Now, I’m willing to let you live, but you’ll first explain why you’re following us.”
“Don’t care none about ye blokes. We’s wants the lady.”
Charles eyes narrowed. “Curious. You thought we would simply hand her over? Who hired you?”
“I’m not sayin.’ Ye’ll go and kill me anyhow.”
“I won’t, actually. You have my word as a gentleman.”
The man appeared to consider his options. His eyes darted back and forth between the two pistols pointed at him and his dead companion. “I don’t know the bloke’s name. Artie met ‘im.”
Charles lowered his gun. “What were you to do with the lady?”
“Take ’er to Moulin Kirk.”
Charles slid his pistol back into the fine leather holster and grabbed Dyson’s horse. “Remember what happened to Artie. If you happen to meet your employer, tell him to stay away from Miss Davidson.”
Devon motioned for the man to get off his horse. “You’ll want to walk quickly or you will freeze to death.”
“Ye can’t leave me here without me horse.”
“Be grateful you’re leaving.”
Excerpt from Blackwood Crossing copyright © MK McClintock
I hope you make time every now and then to escape into a good book and relax with a pot of tea, or your beverage of choice, and a tasty treat.
The Beverage: Highland Blend Tea from Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company
The Treat: Old-Fashioned Blackberry Cobbler (scroll down for recipe)
The Book: Blackwood Crossing
Old-Fashioned Blackberry Cobbler
Don't be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. Try blueberries or strawberries if you prefer them, or mix up the spices a little. Perhaps you really like cinnamon, so use that in place of the Five Spice powder in the recipe. I happen to like a touch of black pepper in desserts, so I might had a smidgen of that. Not all experiments turn out well, but playing around with them a bit is a nice way to unleash a little creative freedom and create a dish you really enjoy. If you're not a seasoned cook or baker, avoid making adjustments to large amounts of dry ingredients, butters, liquids, etc.
Did you know: While you can make a substitute allspice with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, allspice itself is not a blend. It is its own unique spice made from the dried berry of an evergreen tree native to Central America and the Caribbean. It is one of my favorite spices to use in autumn and winter baking because the aroma alone is so tantalizing.
The yield on the original recipe was 5, but that meant large, heaping servings (like the one in the picture above). I reduced it to 6 servings, but really you could get 7 or 8 since each serving packs a lot of satisfying flavor.