I prefer real books to Nooks. I don't have an iPhone. My laptop is a hand-me-down Acer from 2010 with missing keys and a 20-minute battery life. I was probably the last person on Earth to order Netflix. And if that wasn't enough to convince you of my non-techiness, even my mother - the woman who didn't send her first text message until 2014 - had a tablet before me.
So imagine my surprise when Hubby gave me an iPad Air for Christmas and, within minutes, I was in love. And I'm not talking love like I love my Converse Allstars (which I do). I'm talking Mr. Big and Carrie Bradshaw's can't-live-without-each-other love - like how I feel about chocolate cake, Woody Allen, beagle puppies, Casablanca. Dunkin Donuts coffee and New York City. I lurve it.
My new favorite thing is waking up to a cup of hazelnut coffee and the New York Times crossword app. It's quickly become A Thing -- dog in my lap, mug in one hand, iPad in the other, puzzling over cryptic clues such as, "Goat men in a Rubens painting." (Confession: I had to Google that one.) It's one of the few times my English degree has come in handy in The Real World.
Cobbler, coffee and crosswords... I may be a little more techie than I was a month ago, but it's still the simple things in life that make me smile.
Any fruit can be used in this cake - peaches, plums,
blueberries, cherries or any combination of the above.
If you don't have honey on hand, use maple syrup,
Grand Marnier or champagne to macerate the fruit.
Yields: 6 slices
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups fresh blackberries
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 whole vanilla bean
To macerate the berries, place them in a bowl and pour the honey and lemon juice over them. Gently mix so the berries are covered in the liquid. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the butter in a 10 or 12-inch cast-iron skillet (if you don't have one, you can use a 9x9 baking dish). Place the skillet in the oven until the butter melts (about 5 minutes).
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the cup of sugar, milk and vanilla extract and stir until incorporated. Cut the vanilla bean down the center with a paring knife and scrape out the seeds. Gently fold the seeds into the batter.
Remove the skillet from the oven. Carefully pour the melted butter from the skillet into the batter, stir to combine, then pour the batter back into the skillet. Now add the fruit and honey mixture to the pan, starting in the center of the batter and pooling it out in a big circle.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the batter comes out mostly clean. Serve warm, straight from the skillet with a scoop of ice cream on top.