I like a bit of dessert now and then. Yesterday pie sounded good, and the blueberries in the front hedge are plentiful this year. By day’s end, I didn’t really feel like making a really good pie crust, but still wanted that fruit + baked-something-or-other experience. I knew I had options. Cobblers, buckles, crumbles, slumps, Betties, pandowdies… there are quite a few simple, rather home-y, baked goods that combine something a bit biscuit-y (USA ‘biscuit’ rather than UK ‘biscuit’ fyi) with some fruit. All so similar, all so simple…and so many words that describe them, each potentially something subtly different.

A cobbler is fruit, in a baking dish, with biscuit or dumpling on top and baked. Yum.

Put the fruit on top, before it is baked and it becomes a buckle.

Bake that cobbler on the stove-top and it becomes a slump.

A crumble is a cobbler sort of thing, but with a streusel topping, often using brown sugar. Also, yum.

Add oatmeal to the streusel topping, and that basic crumble becomes a ‘crisp‘.

A fool is something very different, being fruit folded into custard or whipped creamy goodness. Again, quite yummy.

It’s just a bit as if each cook met a need, tweaked a recipe, found a way – and gave it a new name, and made it their own.  There are so many words for ‘fruit baked with biscuit’. The words themselves don’t change the experience, and as I learned last night, the words themselves don’t even offer an assurance of recognition, understanding, or shared meaning. I discovered that in the discussion of tasty baked goodness that I shared with my at-home partner last night. “What’s a cobbler?” was quickly followed by “what’s a buckle?”, “what’s a slump?” and “what’s a fool?”, very nearly throwing me off course from actually preparing dessert!

Cobbler was made, and eaten; shared and enjoyed over conversation it became more than a meal. We enjoyed the cobbler together, savoring the berries from our own garden, and the good company, and friendly conversation. It became a moment of connection. It became an experience. I enjoyed baking for the two of us. We enjoyed sharing the experience of eating tasty cobbler together, and talking, and sharing the time as well as the dessert. It’s a small thing, in the bigger picture, but I can’t help wonder how much more peace would be in the world if we were each and all more focused on the small pleasures we can all share than on ‘being right’ about something, or pushing our ideology on the world. ‘Being right’ is highly over-rated, compared to ‘being close’, ‘being connected’, or ‘being content’.

I’m sure there’s a metaphor in here somewhere… I know I’d have had to put more work into baking a pie from scratch, and the joy of sharing the dessert would have been no greater. Even the flavors themselves, of baked fruit and pastry, wouldn’t have been so distinct from each other as to justify the additional work, late in the evening, after a long, hot day. Sometimes ‘easy’ is the way to go. Sometimes sharing matters more than what is being shared. We can choose easy. We can choose sharing. We can choose to savor the lovely simple moments of connection in our busy lives. We can choose to nurture ourselves, and our loved ones.

No matter how hurt or angry we are, it’s not productive – or healing – to bomb the @#$^*&!! out of everything around us (metaphorically speaking), and certainly it gets us no closer to being understood, or understanding others; we’d be better off baking a cobbler, and sharing some conversation.

Why choose conflict, when cobbler is a possibility?

Why choose conflict, when cobbler is a possibility?

Today is a good day for dessert. Today is a good day to share the bounty of life. Today is a good day for smiles, and hugs, and compliments. Today is a good day to change the world.