This is the height of the grass season, when milking and making cheese and yogurt and kefir and butter fill up my days.
Every day I skim the yellow cream from four gallons of milk, and churn three-quarters of a gallon of cream into golden butter.
Every day after milking, the cows, sleek with their rumen side bulging, are moved to fresh pasture along the grazing lines.
They lay and watch me pulling up the step-in posts and reeling up fence wire from where they are ruminating in the shade, but when I call them one by one they stand up, back feet first, and follow Geranium into the next paddock. Chestnut’s new little calf leans close against her side as they pass me.
This time of the year the black V’s of the tasseling Bahia grass grow high beyond the brisket, and in the dewy mornings they puff with golden pollen as they knock against your knees, like draughts of fairy dust in the new day light.
Then from all around comes the sound of the tearing of grass, and the woof of cow’s breath close to the ground. I love to watch them eat, their long tongues wrap around the grass and pull, their wide and high-horned heads dipping in a gentle circle, then one step forward, and a flick of the tail. There is a rhythm and ritual to it.
The very last of the blueberries are still hanging ripe on the bushes. It was a good berry year for the late blueberries. All the rain made them juicy and sweet, and no late freeze killed the blossoms.
The berries dripped in big clusters from the bushes like candies waiting to be picked. We went to Deep Springs Farm to fill up some buckets of berries for this recipe, because we had mostly harvested our bushes.
Its a beautiful place there, with a spring-fed pond and flower-filled gardens.
Berries and plenty of good butter, a perfect situation for cobbler! First thing to start with is the crust. This is always my recipe:
I start with a good-sized mixing bowl. I dump what looks like about 4 cups of flour into it. I add a generous pinch of salt, the kind of pinch you use the flats of three of your fingers for instead of the tips of thumb and forefinger.
Next I add a hunk of butter about the size of a good-sized egg, the size of a mature laying hen, not a pullet egg. I work the butter into the flour with my fingers, crumbling it into the flour.
I know it has enough butter worked it when it looks like bread crumbs but when I squeeze it in my fist it clings together in a dry, crumbly clod. I leave large crumbs for flaky texture, and small crumbs for tenderness.
Now I add a splash of cream cold from the fridge, or maybe milk if we are short on cream. Sometimes water of there is no milk, but you won’t get as good of a pie crust with water. I add it very careful, so the dough won’t get too wet, kneading gently with my hands as I add it just a little splash at a time.
I’ll add a little flour again if I accidentally put to big a splash in and the dough is too wet, but that isn’t ideal. It should be a rich, buttery dough that won’t stick to your hands and works easily.
For the filling:
2 quarts blueberries
1/2 cup honey
2 Tablespoons arrowroot flour or corn starch
- Roll out half the crust to line an oblong baking dish.
- Pour in the fresh berries and drizzle honey evenly on top.
- Sprinkle the arrowroot flour or corn starch evenly on top.
- Roll out the other half of the dough and place on top. Tuck the edges under and press them gently to seal. Make a few air holes in the top crust with a fork or knife.
- Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until crust is gently toasted on top.
Serve as soon as possible….
Preferably with ice cream…