Last week I made my first peach cobbler ever. The recipe I used was more or less the one my Aunt Mandy used. I know there’s a lot of stuff written about food and culture and folkways and family…and it’s pretty much all true.
Aunt Mandy was one of my grandfather’s 6 sisters (he was the only boy that lived to adulthood). She died when I was 8, but I still remember a few things about her. Mostly I remember that she made peach cobbler and put sweet cream in the bowl with it. Also, she had an electric carving knife at her house that would cause the tv picture to get all wavy when they used it to carve meat at family gatherings. My grandfather’s sisters were all great cooks. All but 2 of the siblings are gone now, but they each had a certain dish they always made and brought to the Olliff dinners.
In order of age, here are the Olliff siblings:
Eloise Olliff Lamb 1913-1998
She made pound cake.
Thelma Olliff Scarboro 1914-2007
She made coconut layer cake. Her husband and my grandma were siblings too. Draw a family tree if you need to–it’s all good.
Mandy Olliff Hendrix Lott 1916-1989
She made peach cobbler. But you already knew that.
Annie Laura Olliff Hendricks 1918-
She makes 14 layer chocolate cake–my next project. It rocks with caramel layers too.
Raymon Wayne Olliff 1920-2005 (Pa)
His sisters loved him. Me too.
James Harrison Olliff 1923-1924 (died of pneumonia)
Infant, 1924 (died the same day he was born)
Mabrey Lorine Olliff 1926-
I didn’t know her name was Mabrey until I looked this up. We all call her Aunt Lorine. She wrote the cookbook.
Mary Lois Olliff 1929-2000
She made raisin pie. Don’t ask.
Aunt Mandy’s Peach Cobbler
1 stick of butter, melted (I’m told Aunt Mandy would use 2 sticks sometime, but Lord help me if I ever put 2 sticks of butter in something that fits in an 8×8 pan.)
3-4 cups of peaches
1 cup self-rising flour (I never have self-rising flower so all-purpose flour plus 1.5 tsp of baking powder plus a pinch of salt works too-see, you learn something new every day)
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Peel and slice peaches. Add 1/4 cup sugar to them and stir. Let mixture sit while you make the dough. If the peaches aren’t ripe at all, you can boil them to soften a little. Or, I’m lazy so I just let them macerate (ooh-fancy cooking word, look it up) longer in the bowl with the sugar.
3. Stir egg, butter, flour, vanilla, and 1 cup of the sugar together.
4. Put fruit in 8×8 pan, spoon the dough over it.
5. Bake until brown. (25-35 minutes)