When I was growing up, my family got fresh produce from the garden my daddy and uncle tended in Rock Ridge.
Corn, butter beans and crowder peas grew in abundance on that 4-acre plot of land that the Boykin family called home.
One of the most memorable days of the year for the cousins was the Saturday morning we all gathered each year to pick up potatoes. Daddy would run the old crank tractor down the rows to loosen the soil around the plants, and we’d pick up the red potatoes and load them into bushel baskets.
Honestly, some of my best childhood memories are from that garden.
Not only did we spend time together shelling peas or freezing corn, but we got to sit around the kitchen table and enjoy the fruits of our labor (mostly Daddy and Mama’s labor, not mine and my sister’s!)
I miss those days, and I miss those vegetables. But each summer, I make a point to go to the local farmers market often to purchase produce grown right here in our county.
I’ve been able to walk from work to the downtown market on Wednesdays this summer. And on Saturdays, my husband and I have visited the market at the fairgrounds.
Thanks to our local farmers, my family has feasted on locally grown corn, tomatoes, field peas, cantaloupes, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash and green beans this season.
This past Saturday, I bought some heirloom tomatoes, a cantaloupe and bi-color corn from two different farmers. I also stopped to talk to Cassidy Hobbs, the new family and consumer science agent at the N.C. Cooperative Extension office in Wilson.
Cassidy was at the farmers market talking to shoppers about healthy eating and ways to incorporate more fresh produce into their diet.
She was also handing out recipe cards from N.C. Cooperative Extension.
Several of the recipes looked appealing to me, including a leaner lasagna made without meat, farmers market frittata and light blueberry cobbler.
Blueberry cobbler is one of my favorite desserts. I make my mama’s recipe at least once each summer. The cobbler is very sweet, made with almost a cup of sugar. In contrast, this light blueberry cobbler recipe has 1⁄4 cup of sugar. Mama’s recipe is made with a pie crust on top; this recipe has a crumb topping of sorts that uses only 3 tablespoons of butter.
The new recipe suggests serving the cobbler with lemon yogurt. I’m thinking this is a substitute for vanilla ice cream that some folks like to eat with their hot cobbler.
I made the lighter blueberry cobbler Monday to eat with our supper. It was very easy to prepare and smelled delicious as it cooked. I served each of us a generous portion with a little yogurt served with it.
I love lemon and blueberry combined in recipes, but I wasn’t a big fan of the combination of yogurt and cobbler. For my first bite, I tasted nothing but yogurt. It was a better mix when I stirred it together.
The cobbler itself is very good. It’s tart, but good. I still prefer my mama’s very sweet cobbler, but we both enjoyed this one, and I look forward to leftovers, which I will eat without the yogurt. I might even warm the cobbler and eat it with a little bit of frozen vanilla yogurt or ice cream to sweeten it a bit.
My husband loves tart or sour foods, and he loved this cobbler. I admit, I like the sweeter one better; it’s one of the few recipes I know from memory, if that tells you how many times I’ve made it. But this light version is very good as well, especially when you are counting calories and trying to cut back on sugar. By the way, a serving of this cobbler has 182 calories. Not bad for a yummy dessert!
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Light Blueberry Cobbler
1 8-oz. carton lemon low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 cups fresh blueberries
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons reduced calorie butter (I didn’t have this so I used my regular, salted butter)
Combine yogurt and lemon rind; cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Place blueberries in a 8-inch square or 9-inch round cake pan.
Combine flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal; sprinkle over berries.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Top each serving with about 21⁄2 tablespoons yogurt mixture.
Mama’s Fruit Cobbler
3 to 4 cups fresh fruit (blueberries, peeled and sliced peaches or sliced apples)
3⁄4 to 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your fruit is)
1 to 2 tablespoons flour (more for fruit that will be juicier when cooked)
Pinch of salt
1⁄2 tablespoon butter (or less)
1 pie crust
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Fill pie pan with fresh fruit. I use blueberries (fresh or frozen), fresh peaches or cooking apples.
Mix sugar, flour and salt and sprinkle over fruit. Dot with a little butter. With apples, add cinnamon to taste.
Top with a pie crust (I use frozen). Slit top of pie crust.
Place pie plate on a cookie sheet covered with foil to catch the filling that bubbles out.
Bake at 425 degrees for 30 to 50 minutes.