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Peach cobbler--cowboy style

Chester's Peach cowboy camp cobbler
Chester's Peach cowboy camp cobbler
Jim Hardenbrook

Ohio peaches are plentiful and available everywhere in Northeast Ohio. I purchased some of those fresh, fuzzy beauties today at Miles Farmers Market, located in Solon, Ohio. Did you know it started out as a roadside seasonal market in 1971? Then, in 1993 it became a year-round operation with many additions throughout the years. The market added a home-cooked department and their very own wine department as well. It’s a wonderful place to shop for gourmet cheese, wines, homemade breads, confections, exquisite imported olive oil…and oh my, the list goes onand on and on.

All of the local farmers markets you frequent every week carry farm-fresh produce from all over Northeast Ohio. The produce is usually picked early in the morning just before the market opens, making it ripe, appealing, and ready to eat! The peaches will be abundant as well.

The peaches I purchased were freestone, which means they were perfect for slicing. They were also tender, juicy and sweet. There is nothing like a sweet tasting peach first thing in the morning with your yogurt or favorite cereal.

Another thing you could make is a cobbler and I don’t mean just any cobbler. I mean Chester’s Cowboy Camp Cobbler! No you’re not seeing things or reading a typo, this is a recipe from a ‘real cowboy.’ And you thought cowboys just wore spurs, chaps, and cowboy hats and rode horses. They can cook, too—and darn good!

I met Chester Orand 27 years ago and he’s the last of a dying breed. Real cowboys are hard to find, but there are a lot of ‘wannabe’ cowboys out there. Chester’s day consists of riding a horse sometimes 15 hours a day and chasing cattle on rugged terrain—terrain you wouldn’t hike or climb on. Then, he heads back to cow camp for some grub, which is where the cobbler recipe comes from.

Chester made the cobbler for my husband and I while we were visiting in July, which is how I got the recipe and some great stories. He sat down after he peeled the fresh-picked peaches and told me how he managed to make it at cow camp.

“I’ve added everything from fruit cocktail to cherry pie filling,” said Orand, cattle manager for Ron Ebberts.

Peaches will be available in Ohio for at least another month. I plan on doing some home canning and possibly making some jam. I’ve actually already made a batch from Colorado peaches. But I’m thinking some fresh canned peaches would be nice for the pantry. Then come Thanksgiving a nice ‘cowboy cobbler’ for dessert would be a nice finish to the meal.

Whatever you decide to do with your fresh peaches, just make sure you don’t forget to look up some great recipes for ice cream, pies or breakfast bars for the kids. It’s almost that time of year!

In closing I just wanted to share with you about how some people think it’s cool to wear spurs. Someone once told me a long time ago, “If you want to wear spurs, you’re going to have to earn ‘em.” That meant riding the rough terrain for months, chasing cattle and sometimes going without sleep. But a ‘cowboy’s gotta do what a cowboy’s gotta do.’

Enjoy and until next time…

Chester’s Cowboy Camp Cobbler

Preheat oven 350 degrees

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

6-7 fresh peaches or a 29 oz. of canned peaches

1 tsp. baking powder

1 stick of butter or margarine

Melt butter in pan. * Peel fresh peaches or open and drain can. Mix dry ingredients then add milk. Pour batter in pan, and then add peaches. Bake for 55 minutes.

* Use 9x9 pan or cast iron Dutch oven

More information about:

Cowboys today

Western artist and painters

Peach cobbler recipes

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