Blackberry Cobbler and Ucci

Happy Almost-Weekend! I’m so ready for the break. It seems like I’ve been going full speed ahead for way too long, so I’m definitely looking forward to some peace and quiet. I only work until noon on Fridays, so it *almost* feels like having the whole day off! My weekend to-do list looks a little something like this:

  • Sleep
  • Go to church
  • Eat
  • Nap
  • Cook
  • Run
  • Be lazy

It doesn’t get much better than that, does it? I’ll also be spending some time outdoors to finish planting our little garden out front – just a few flowers, potato plants, and mulch for now. Hopefully by late summer we can start a fall vegetable garden now that we’ve got lots of land and good soil. I’ve always wanted to grow my own food, and the dream is finally coming true! We’ve already got a nice little harvest of blackberries growing behind the barn, and I’ve been going out every other day to gather the ripe ones.

I put them to good use and whipped up a delicious cobbler. I also threw in some strawberries and juicy, Texas peaches for a delightful blend of flavors.

Forgive the poor lighting and photo quality. My kitchen has the worst lighting in the whole world…or at least the whole house. How unfortunate that it’s the room where I take most of my pictures! 
This blackberry cobbler recipe is as easy as pie. Okay, much easier than pie.
1. Chop fruit of your choice and put into a baking dish.
2. Mix a plop of butter with sugar and flour and spread (or sprinkle) over the fruit. Throw some walnuts on there if you want a little crunch.

3. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and not doughy.

I never measure any of the ingredients and it always comes out perfect. I’ve experimented with crumbly dough and creamy dough and it turns out great either way. If the topping tastes good before baking, it will taste good after baking. And because cobbler is so forgiving, you can – and absolutely should – substitute healthy varieties of butter, sugar, and flour. I used oat flour, Smart Balance, and a mix of Stevia cane and brown sugar. Absolutely one of my all-time favorite desserts!
Besides the obvious thrill that comes with eating a piece of warm cobbler fresh from the oven, my day offered another exciting event: a birdie rescue! At work, my boss found a fledgling who had fallen from a tree and couldn’t fly. The mother bird was nowhere in sight. We thought the baby bird (or more like teenager bird) may be injured, and a coworker and I decided to nurse it back to health. We gave him water from our fingers, pet his head, cooed at him, and named him Ucci (short for Uccello, the Italian word for bird). I took him home in a box with the hope that some rest would give him time to heal.

Little Ucci with a drop of water on his beak.

 By the time I got him home, however, he looked weaker. He wasn’t standing anymore, he had sat down in his box with a sad look on his face. I figured he must be hungry, so I found a bug for him. He wasn’t interested. I chewed up some almonds and tried to feed him that, with no success. I gave him flax seeds. I gave him oats. He wouldn’t eat anything at all! Okay, so I don’t know a thing about what to feed birds. All I knew was that I read somewhere that baby birds are fed every 20 minutes, and we had caught him over 4 hours ago. Ucci wouldn’t eat or even drink water now and was looking worse and worse. I started freaking out and sending desperate texts to people asking for help, but nothing worked. It was hopeless.

Ucci looking despondent. Note the untouched flax seeds.

By 11:00 that night, I admitted to myself that Ucci was going to die. I put his box in the garage where none of the neighborhood cats could get to him, and went to bed depressed, certain he would be dead birdie corpse in the morning. When I woke up, I ran to the garage to check on him. Oh happy day! Instead of finding a dead Ucci, he was perched on the edge of his box, looking full of energy! I carried the box into the kitchen and he flew onto the counter! Not only was he not dead, he was actually FLYING! I brought him back to work and he sang the whole way there. We put him in a tree and he flitted, branch by branch, to the top, chirping all the while. I haven’t seen him since.

I don’t know what happened overnight, maybe he needed time to heal his injury or just needed a good night’s sleep. Whatever it was, I was overjoyed that he was alive and well, but I’ll never adopt another baby bird again…EVER! Too much stress and worry. Oh gosh, if this is the mental anguish I suffer over a bird, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when I have kids. Lord, help. Cobbler is about as much excitement as I can handle in one day.

~Becky, a skinnyfat girl

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