Shopping in bulk sometimes a good thing


Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist



How often do you shop at a “big box” store? My children have memberships in two different warehouse stores, Costco and Sam’s Club. It makes perfect sense to stock up on bulk items that you use all the time if you have a family of more than two. Sometimes I tag along.

The warehouse stores are dangerous for me. When I go to IKEA or one of the warehouse stores, if I’d just stick to napkins, paper towels and toilet paper I’d be all right. Maybe a rotisserie chicken or two. They’re beyond handy, especially for those of us who work full-time, or nearly so.

But a trip into a place where bulk food items are stashed floor to ceiling, and the ceilings are 25 feet high. Well, what’s a foodie like me to do but buy in bulk?

Thankfully, my children are more sensible than I am. They buy what they need at the moment and use it up quickly. Not me there’s something about all that “stuff” that compels me to buy enough for an army to exist on for the next six months. I guess it’s the “Mom” thing.

I recently found myself with a three pound bag of dark sweet pitted cherries from one of these bulk-buying excursions. What does one do with 48 ounces of frozen cherries? Well, one thing I did was to make an out-of-this-world cherry cobbler. It was quick, simple and easy. Three of my favorite things when I’m cooking these days.

Try this one and see if you agree it’s a keeper. It may be worth another trip to big-box land some time soon.

QUICK AND EASY CHERRY COBBLER

For the filling:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup water

12 ounces frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed

1 tablespoon butter

For the topping:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 8-inch baking dish.

In a large saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Stir in the water and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the cherries and butter.

Cook on low heat until the mixture first thickens, then comes to a boil. Pour filling into greased baking dish. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to mix the shortening into the dry ingredients. Keep at it until you have coarse crumbs. Stir the milk into the crumbs until just moistened.

Drop the topping over the filling in tablespoons until cherry mixture is covered. Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons sugar over the topping.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until the topping is a golden brown.

Cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Serves six to eight.

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Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.