I have only lived a few places in my life, Seattle/Bellevue, Vancouver, Olympia, and now just outside Olympia in a little town called McCleary. It’s a very small community with only about 1,700 residents. We moved here in 2006 and it took a lot of getting used too. I’ve always lived in larger cities and had to seriously change a lot of my regular habits when we moved here. I have to shop in town before I come home, mostly because the little grocery store here doesn’t have a huge selection, and being a monopoly it is pretty expensive. It works in a pinch though! There is no pizza delivery, and no fast food, which is ok actually, no temptations.
It’s a small mill town now, but back in the Hey Day of the lumber boom, it had a lot of folks working at the Simpson lumber and door mill. This little town is where my great grandparents first lived when they got married. Their house is no longer here, but my roots run deep in this area.
Every July we have the McCleary Bear Festival. It’s a wonderful community get together in the park, with a parade, and softball tournament, food, and crafts. For $3.00 you get a complete Bear Stew meal in the park with all of your neighbors. My great-grandma Mary would always ask us to come to this festival, she loved it! The local ladies all get together and do all the preparations and make the stew in the community center park kitchen. This was one of the strangest parts of being here for the first few years. Everyone knows everyone in a small town, I felt like an interloper. As my kids got more involved in activities and playing sports, I got to know people. It’s now become one of my favorite summertime weekends.
We live right in town, and so many of my kid’s friends would use our house as “base camp” during the festival. I loved having them all here. They all knew they were welcome, and the bathroom was clean, and there would always be some sort of baked good hanging out in the kitchen. One year I was making jam when a small herd of Jonathan’s friends all came into the house. Kaitlyn asked to use the restroom, and said “of course! Leave a quarter on the counter when you are done”. I was joking, the other kids all knew this and laughed, it was always my answer.... but after they left, there was the quarter! Ohh, poor girl! I had to go find her to give it back and explain the joke. While Kaitlyn was in the restroom Jonathan’s best friend Cory asks what kind of jam I was making, and was disappointed it wasn't blackberried. He said next time I make blackberry cobbler to call him. I whipped one up for him that day. Not an hour later his mom called and said I was spoiling him! All these years later, I call him when I make it, and he’s here! I love this kid like he’s my own. So in honor of Cory, I am sharing this week's recipe for Blackberry Cobbler. It’s actually more of a slump than a cobbler, but it’s delicious and easy!
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With summer picnics and potlucks coming up, it’s a great recipe to have in your repertoire! It’s also very versatile! You can use any fruit in it!

From my heart to yours, Smacznego!

Kim’s Fruit Cobbler/Slump


  • 5 cups blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups sugar - divided
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

*1/2 cup water if you are using a stone fruit, peaches, plums, or cherries. Berries create enough juice without the water.

Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Combine the blackberries, and 1 cup sugar, in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in the oven to melt.
Mix the remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir!
Spoon fruit on top, the self-rising flour batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Serve with whip cream or ice cream.