Cool weather has blown in and the leaves have changed into their fall best! Neil Young and John Denver, songs are taking new meaning as we shut the lid on Summer’s foolishness. How interesting that the Season of ‘dying off’ is a favorite for so many. In such a short time we go from the drunken high of the emblazon gold and red hues to the somber reality of the Mama’s and Papa’s line, “…all the leaves are brown and the sky is grey”. I think we love it because as with any good story, chapters need ending. It’s a kind of a soulful cleansing, if you would. A promise that with rest, strength will rise in the spring and things will grow in all their green glory.
We are given as a gift, foods each Season. I am sure there is a physical reason as to why we should eat what was gifted to us in the Season… whether you thank Science and the cycle of the universe or acknowledge the hand of God.
One of my favorite flavors of Fall is Native to this land that we like to think is ours. Muscadines were the first wine grape of the Vanderbilt family from the Southern castle referred to as The Biltmore House. They were written about in the 1500’s and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed it’s wine. It was America’s first grape and the first real American’s, the Native American’s made Muscadine Dumplings. Here we are 2013, making cobbler… it’s like warm, sweet, history in a bowl.
Here is a great link to History and Health: http://www.muscadinenaturals.com/muscadine_grape.htm#Heritage
It is one of THE greatest Cancer fighters in nature. Though you;d want to eat them raw for the full benefits. They are my snack of choice in cool weather. I take them on the road, to ball games, around the house… they are always close at hand during the Fall.
You can find them in the woods all around the Southeast, you will first see them on the canopy floor of the forest, but their vines weave through the trees in Southern woodlands like those old woven potholders of your grandmothers. They rain down (especially with the shake of a vine) feeding wildlife and people alike.
Yes, there are different kinds and colors, like the Scuppernong or bronze muscadine. You might even hear an old timer refer to them as “possum grapes”.
I can them, both chunky hulls (the peeling) and syrup. I cook them in cobblers and have even reduced them to a savory sauce to top venison. Be creative and enjoy them while they’re here… fall moves so quickly.
Where did I get mine from? www.thehappyberry.com (and they have their recipe too)
Now here’s my Aunt Margie’s Recipe for Cobbler
(I just substituted the more common Peaches or Blackberries for the Muscadines)
MUSCADINE HULL COBBLER
1/2 cup of Butter (that’s one stick… you can cut back on this, but at least use a 1/2 a stick)
3/4 cup of Flour (all purpose, NOT self rising)
2 tsps of Baking Powder
1 cup of sugar (use 3/4 in the batter and 1/4 in with the fruit)
1/4 tsp of Salt (I used 1/2 tsp, because I had unsalted butter)
3/4 cup of milk (whole too 1%… your call. I did 2%)
4 cups of halved and seeded muscadines
-Put butter in medium sized casserole dish and melt in the oven
-Pour batter on top of melted butter (don’t stir)
-Pour fruit on top of batter (don’t stir… lightly spread out somewhat)
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown
*If you wanted to add a splash or two, of Muscadine wine to your fruit and sugar… you could, but not necessary.