The first time I tasted a “Northwest Cobbler” I was visiting my cousins, Lee and Fritz in Kingston, Washington. They live in a picture perfect setting remote enough that Fritz’s directions went something like “turn right at the first tree after the left turn”. I am sure that isn’t right and even though he maintains his directions were perfect I was pretty lost for a while. Their home sits up on a hill with a forest surrounding, a view of a pond and then the harbor and finally the Olympic Mountains in the distance from the expansive deck. In the summer it stays light until 10pm. When the weather is warm in the Seattle area I am convinced there is no lovelier place on earth. In the morning we went to pick blackberries along the path that leads from the front door. My daughters were small then and the vision of them in their cute little sundresses carrying pails and putting more in their mouth’s than in the buckets is etched in my mind forever. Blackberries have some serious thorns but miraculously on that day, no one was injured.
We returned with a bounty of blackberries and Lee set out to make a “Northwest Cobbler”. Now some of you might think of this as a crumble or a crisp with the topping of brown sugar, oatmeal and butter. However it is so delicious I am not sure it matters. It is also incredibly easy, so easy that my daughters were able to fully participate and it was at that moment that I saw clearly what a bonding experience cooking is. I highly recommend introducing your kids to cooking as early as possible. It creates fantastic memories, teaches math and science skills and is an incredible way to pass along culture and tradition. Since everyone is not lucky enough to have a path to a blackberry patch in their front yard, I have modified the recipe so that even we suburban moms can bring that taste home any time of the year. And as a bonus, NO THORNS!