Cobbler to die for!

walnut creek

Here lies Emily Braddock (Jones).  She died of caramel cobbler overload.

After spending reverent moments in my family cemetery today, I was treated to something worth dying for. No kidding.

My cud’n, Becky Braddock Benson of Ripley, Miss., is famous for her unusual and “to die for” pot luck offerings.  I always look forward to the second Sunday in August just  to see what she has come up with for the Braddock family reunion.

Today, after the usual fare of fried chicken and macaroni every which way but loose, I casually perused the dessert table.  I wasn’t partaking, mind you. I’ve been off sugar for 14 days – two solid weeks – and nothing this side heaven was tempting me. No sir.

Then I spotted something I couldn’t identify.  It looked like a head on collision between a strudel and a caramel pudding.  I knew it would be awful, so I took a wee taste and almost passed out.  Oh, my gosh.  Was this the best thing I ever tasted, or were my poor, sugar-deprived taste buds playing tricks on me?

“Who made this and what is it!” I shouted, between mouthfuls.  By now I was cleaning the remains of the dish.  Sure enough.   There in the front row, Becky smiled sweetly and half raised her hand.  I should have known.

I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her to the kitchen.

“I HAVE to have this recipe,” I demanded and blocked her escape with a 10-gallon trash can.  I pulled out a piece of scrap paper and a pen and instructed her to start writing on my back. With a drumstick in one hand and the pen in the other she began to write.

I was amazed how simple and how down to earth the “Caramel Cobbler” will be when I introduce it to Starkville.  I’m sharing the recipe so you can try it one day when it’s raining and you are craving something decadent but don’t want to go to the store.  You probably have all the ingredients right in your cupboard.

Oh, at least four Tippah County Cud’ns told me it is unbelievable served over ice cream – or was in under?  Who cares.

Amazing Magical  Country Caramel Cobbler (my name for it)

1-1.2 c. hot water

1 stick of butter

1-1/2 cup flour

1-1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1-1/2 brown sugar

3/4 cup milk


Melt butter in your dish (she used a casserole approximately 7 by11).  Mix flour, sugar, milk and vanilla – pour on butter (do not stir).  Sprinkle brown sugar on top and pecans – do not stir.  Pour water on top.  Bake 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Have you ever heard of such?

The secrets of Walnut Creek

reunion meet #2 025 A word about Walnut Creek (at left), the small Presbyterian Church where we hold our reunion each year.  It was erected in 1855 on land given by my great great grandfather.

The original frame structure has been bricked up and is in pristeen condition. Sadly the congregation which has been meeting there for years has disbanded and my family is in a quandary about how we’re going to keep it up in the future.

One of my grandfathers – well all of them – are buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church.  But one in particular  survived four wives – and they are buried on each side of him – two on the right and two on the left. What stories that cemetery could tell.

We talked for hours about the circumstances that brought my great great (perhaps another great?) grandfather to Tippah County from Laurens County, S. C. around 1830. He was orphaned and traveled to Mississippi with an aunt and uncle.  When I asked what happened to his parents my cud’n Danny, said “there are some things you’d best not know.”  That’s what his father and grandfather had told him.

Of course, I am going to South Carolina on Monday to investigate this great mystery. But first I’m going to the kitchen to make a caramel cobbler.  Tomorrow I’ll get back on the wagon and white knuckle it until my sugar addiction recedes.

14 thoughts on “Cobbler to die for!

  1. Emily,

    Don’t feel bad, last night while exercizing my car battery, my sister and I drove through Wendy’s for a coke cola — for the thirst, not the sugar mind ya — it’s HOT down here, and I was parched! Didn’t want my tomb stone sayin’, “Here lies Cuz. Death from a parched throat — no coke cola in three weeks.”

    Welp, ah’m back on the wagon with ya.

  2. My family, on both sides, came from Laurens, S.C., in the early 1840’s. We have been twice to do genealogy research. It is a beautiful, friendly area. I was often told that the ones who could read the signs that said “Go West Young Man” went on to Texas. The rest stayed in Mississippi. You would not believe how many in my family are named Laurens or Laura.

  3. That’s just what you and Carmen need- to find out you are long lost cousins! Hello, Carmen! (Ann-formerly Hemphill)

  4. Howdy Carmen,
    Welp, it ain’t too late. Why not mosy on over?! We’ll rev up the barbie for ya. How many days ya think it would take ya to git here?
    Your New Cuz

  5. Can i share this recipie. I’ll be sure to credit the cook and author. I know my work and family crew will love this.

  6. Mother’s side: Stephens
    Daddy’s side: Caldwell
    They settled in Pontotoc County. There are Welches in Pontotoc County.

  7. Carmen,
    My maternal grandmother was a Caldwell before she married. Do you think any of ’em might’ve headed west to Texas a while back? Her father died before she was born, but his first name was John, middle name Price.
    I have no idea whether or not the Price was a family name or just a more common given name then than now. Do you have any John’s or Price’s in that line?

  8. Dear Emily,
    PLEASE make one thing clear in your Caramel Cobbler recipe. As I was looking through about four days’ worth of SDN’s on my way to Belmont last week, I read your column and tore the recipe out. Couldn’t wait to make it as a surprise for my older son Jay and family when they arrived at my mother’s house on Friday night. Well, as usual, the old brain told me one thing; but I READ the other. When you say “flour,” to me that means all-purpose, which I used in the recipe. Needless to say, it remained a slab of dough with gobs of butter mixed with melted brown sugar floating all over it–DIDN’T RISE!!!! I went back and read the recipe, hoping it was just me, and you had, in fact, put “s.r. flour” and I had read it wrong; but, alas, just “flour.” Are you one of those people who ONLY uses self-rising flour??? But, as old as I am, I should have realized that if there was no baking powder or ANYTHING LISTED TO MAKE IT RISE, then………. Oh, woe is me!!!

  9. So sorry Jenny – I hadn’t actually MADE the recipe when I posted it – have gotten a million calls – said 1-1/2 brown sugar – Should have been CUPS! Some thought tablespoons. Another called to say it was still liquid after 55 minutes. I told her it would set up just right after ony 35 minutes – of course hers probably crystalized. I didn’t even notice the S. R in front of flour. But yes, I’m the kind who only keeps Self rising on hand. I figure I need all the help I can get.

    I made the recipe Saturday for Daddy’s birthday and it turned out good – though not as gooey as my cousins. I used half and half and don’t know if that had anything to do with it. I wanted gooey. I apologize to all who had trouble with the recipe – that’s what you get when you demand someone write down a recipe on your shoulder with a tube of lipstick.

  10. Dear Emily: No wonder you are a failure at retirement. With a webpage like yours to keep up you still work just don’t get paid for it. What a joyous place to find. I’ll check it most everyday just to keep my spirits up. Thank you.

    Jeanette Bunch

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