Friday, July 18, 2014

Because not everything has to involve a can: Homemade Cherry Cobbler

I was rooting through the refrigerator today.  I was teaching K how to make a chicken pot pie and we needed the ingredients to make it happen.  The cherries I bought her about a week ago had shuffled towards the back of the fridge and I forgot about them.  "But I wanted to eat them, but they weren't washed yet."  I have to introduce her to the Duggar way of life with that.  The child is fully capable of washing her own cherries.  Anyhow, it left me with a bag of cherries that were a little too ripe for dropping in your mouth and eating, but not quite far gone enough for compost.  (Some were, but there were plenty of good ones left.)

What am I going to do with these?  I washed and pitted the cherries.  I wondered if a cobbler would be possible.  I looked it up on Pinterest.  Certainly it seemed possible, but everyone used cans of pie filling with the goo.

Um, I don't even like cherries and that seemed kind of gross.

I had to do an independent internet search for cherry pie filling and since I only had half of the cherries it called for, I just split the recipe.  On Pinterest, I found a recipe for homemade cobbler (not the dump method) and I was all about that.  Here's what I ended up with:

Cherry Cobbler Filling

1/3 cup raw sugar
2 decent T cornstarch
1/8 t salt
2 cups pitted cherries
3/4 cup water
1 T lemon juice
1 - 1 1/2 T vanilla*

Combine all in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened and remove from heat.

(This is where I tell you that it called for additional red food coloring.  I skipped it.  Looked red enough for me and why would I want to add that?)

* This was my own addition.

Cherry Cobbler 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup white sugar
3/4 t salt
2 t vanilla extract*
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
Homemade cobbler filling from above

Preheat oven to 350 F.  It said to use an 8 x 11 pan, but I used a little smaller oval French White Corning ware dish.  Coat the bottom of the dish with Pam.  Cream all ingredients together except for cobbler filling.  Spread 2/3 of the batter on the bottom of the baking dish.  Pour cobbler filling on top and dollop the rest of the batter on top.  Bake for 30-45 minutes.  Cool, slice & serve.

* I was taught to always double the vanilla, so this has already been doubled.


ETA:  It was delicious, but I admit that K ate my hunks of cherries for me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2 minutes 'til.

The last two evenings at work has brought in the "2 minutes 'til crowd."  We close at 6 PM.  Yes, I understand that there are people that are running late.  No big deal.  They really need something.  Just fine.  I've been known to sell $3000 worth of goods AFTER close.  Coming in at close isn't a big deal. Most of the time, people are on a mission.  They need such and such, need it wrapped and need out.  I get that.  No big deal.  People work.  They just came in after work, need a gift and so forth.  Realize, however, that if you are just "looking around" with no intention of laying down some green, there is no reason to hold back 10+ people just so you can feel the power.

On Monday, we had a woman who came in and said, "I know that you close in 2 minutes, I'm just running through real quick."  Fine.  We asked if she needed any help to let us know.  Stuff happens.  She looked.  She browsed.  She kept us past 10 minutes behind.  Again, no big deal we could tell that it was just a hang out and keep everyone behind thing.  We lock up, set the alarm and travel through to our main store.  I went upstairs to turn out all of the lights and when I came downstairs, that same woman had come into the main store-- after close-- and was roaming around.

Incidentally, she bought nothing.

Last evening, we had a family roaming through.  They were taking their time looking at everything.  That's fine.  They roam into the main room and I asked them if they needed help finding anything.  "Oh no, we're just roaming around and looking."  I, with the permission of the gentleman who owns the place, politely said, "We'll be closing in a few minutes.  If there is anything you need help with, just let us know.  We'd be happy to help."

"Oh my gosh!  I didn't realize you close then."  They roamed into another room.  They started looking some more.  "We need to go, they are closing soon," is what I heard.  Again, we stayed 10 minutes after.  The kicker to this family is that they asked for a bag because apparently she has an assortment of plastic bags she has as souvenirs, and they-- again-- spent nothing.  She got a plastic bag, though.

I don't care where I shop,  I always look at the hours when it is what I think might be close to close.  If it is within 15 minutes and I know that it isn't a grab, pay and run, I've backed back out.

Be kind to the people behind the counter.  Yes, we are being paid by the hour by there are times that even we have things going on after work.  We have lives, families, dinners to cook, children to tend to . . . Let us all be thoughtful and think of each other.