HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The work gods recently smiled on me with a four-day weekend.

The wanderlust in me had to ditch the big city for a bit. I love you, Houston, but you can be a bit much sometimes.

I meandered a bit on Friday, going up to my grandparents’ old house to spend the night. My niece, who is 16 and communicates 96 percent of the time via text, struck up a conversation with me. It had been so long since we’d ever just spent time together, so we set up a lunch and an afternoon. I drove an hour — over two rivers and from oak covered hills into the piney woods of my old hometown to get her. We drove into downtown Huntsville to a small, newish café and just talked and ate.

I’m so glad I did it. I’d been living across Texas and out of state for so long, I was struck with how much I learned about her — school, her boyfriend, her world, etc. It’s a shame for a uncle not to know these basic things.

Uncle duty aside, it was time for dessert. The waitress mentioned dewberry cobbler was on the menu. Dewberry freakin’ cobbler! I’d had a hankering for dewberry cobbler since dewberry season began.

Here’s a note about dewberry cobbler. I realize some of you may call them blackberries, but un-uh, baby. Down here they’re dewberries. I can remember as a kid going with my mom and brother, donning jeans and long sleeves in the hot, humid sun to work the berry patch next to a family friend’s house. We’d hunch over and work berries loose from their thorny vines, just us, the sun beating down and the snakes (with whom I’ve never truly gotten along but seemed to love to hide in those vines).

I can remember my mom making cobbler the old fashioned way: making dough, rolling it out and flouring it to make the base in the pan, warming up the berries with butter and sugar and pouring in the mixture, then carefully layering the top with a second sheet of dough. The smell that filtered from the kitchen through the rest of the house was heavenly. I shared this memory with my niece, who just kind of stared and gave a teenaged, “Oh. I don’t like cobbler.” *Facepalm*

So, I got some to go.

I’m too busy (lazy) to do any of those steps as a grown man, but oh how that restaurant’s cobbler hit the spot!

If anyone has a good, quick and easy recipe for one, let me know!

And if you should ever find yourself in Huntsville, City Hall Café & Pie Bar has slap yo’ mama cobblers and pies. Food’s good, too.

And you know the tea’s good when it’s served in a Ball jar. It’s a Southern thang, y’all.
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