Consumer questions, answers
Q: Do you have a recipe for cantaloupe cobbler?
A: Gerrie Fort, Circulation Manager of the Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin came through with this recipe from her mother, Eva Mae Chappell of Macon, Georgia. Says Mrs. Fort, “My mother made this during our childhood days, and it is yummy good!”
Cantaloupe Cobbler Mrs. Fort uses a 9 X 9 inch square-baking dish. Ingredients for filling: 1 ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into medium-sized pieces (Let cantaloupe stand for about 2 hours covered with ½ cup sugar to help draw out the juice.)
½ cup sugar (in addition to the ½ cup mentioned above) 1½ cups hot water ¼ tsp. nutmeg ¼ tsp. cinnamon ½ stick butter Pinch of salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tbsp. flour Pie crust – Your favorite crust recipe or use store-bought. “Nothing like homemade,” says Mrs. Fort.
A little sugar, cinnamon and butter to sprinkle and drizzle on at the end
Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the filling ingredients in a saucepan except the vanilla, salt and flour. Bring mixture to a rapid boil, but don’t let the cantaloupe pieces get soggy. Set aside and add vanilla and salt. Take some of the juice (about ½ cup) from pan, add the flour and mix until well blended. Pour the flour mixture back into the cantaloupe mixture and stir until well blended. Taste to see if it’s to your liking.
Adjust the spices or flavoring at this point to suit your taste. Slice crust into thin strips. Spread a small amount of butter on bottom of baking dish. Place a layer of crust over bottom of dish, place in oven and bake until golden brown. Remove from oven. (If you are using a glass-baking dish, allow the dish to cool a little before adding the cantaloupe mixture, especially if you made the mixture earlier and it is cold.) Add cantaloupe mixture. Place a second crust over the top in a crisscross pattern. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and drizzle with melted butter. Bake until bubbly and crust is golden brown.
Q: Is there a particular time to pick tomatoes for the best taste?
A: There is not a particular time of day to harvest tomatoes for maximum flavor. The best time to pick your tomatoes is when they are ripe. There is not one specific signal that will tell you this. Some tomatoes will still have green shoulders when fully ripe. Others can have turned completely red or yellow but still need to ripen a day or two more to a somewhat deeper color and a sweeter, better taste. It takes some practice and intuition to recognize when this is.
Another tip for the besttasting tomatoes: Do not refrigerate them if you are planning on using them fresh. Refrigerating them destroys that highly desired fresh flavor.