Last November, I spent ten glorious days in Austin, Texas. I ate great food, drank wonderful margaritas and sipped some pretty darn good coffee. I also spent time catching up with an old friend, who I have not seen in years, so long that her girls are now teenagers. One thing I cannot shake from my mind besides the lovely memories is cobbler, so I had to take advantage of peach season by creating this roasted peach cobbler. OUT OF THIS WORLD!
It was great spending time with Lily, drinking wine, cooking dinners, catching up and eating some good BBQ. We both have been through so much over the past 15 years, but, it felt like it was just yesterday, when we saw each other. Nice to have a friend, who is dear and you can pick up exactly where you left off. That trip made me realize how important her friendship is, and how much I miss spending time with her.
I am pretty private about my personal endeavors. I take on goals and tasks and at times never utter a word. Maybe it is because I am scared of failure. Or maybe because I am just private. Regardless, I have been keeping a secret about those 10 days in Austin. After an amazing long weekend, I submerged myself in a photojournalist workshop for a week, with three very talented photographers, Lynn Johnson, Scott Martin and Penny de los Santos. Except for a brief conversation with Penny, before signing on, I had no expectations of the upcoming week. I was excited to be able to work alongside the instructors I would be sharing a week with (Lynn, has the dream job, I always wanted). And I was terrified. Did I have what it took? Did I have the right equipment? What if I failed? So many thoughts …. but, if I did not feel this way, then it would have been worth it.
PhotoMuse went beyond my expectations. Despite the amazing instructors as well as the talent sitting around me. From the first evening of sharing, to George Krause coming to speak to our group, I knew I was in for a week of personal growth. Everyone around me was there for different reasons, it was a personal journey to be shared and nurtured. The creativity in the cozy living room, everyday, was amazing. And the instructors were patient as well as brilliant. Immediately I felt honored to be there. Nothing from this journey would be taken for granted.
After the first day of shooting, I approached the elements around me differently. I looked at light in a another manner. The days were long, and the evenings even longer. I shot like I have never shot before, and I edited until late hours of the night while chatting with amazing people around me. Every night, I drug myself home, tired but hungry for more. I was in my element.
My assignment for the week was Texas BBQ. Trust me there is more to BBQ then a pretty plate of smoked meat and sloppy (but delicious sauces). I pondered on shooting a few different BBQ joints, but one day into my assignment, I decided to focus on one of Texas’ oldest BBQ joints, Louie Mueller, established in 1949. I spent entire days with the finest group of people, I have ever met they were like family at the end of the week. I woke up early, and drove to Taylor every morning, to be there when the fires were stoked at 5 am. I worked the lunch crowd, chatting with the locals about BBQ and the Mueller family, and shooting their hungry smiles. Every afternoon, at the end of lunch rush, the crew would sit me down to enjoy some of the finest BBQ I have ever had. I would spend the next couple hours shooting the staff, winding down for the day. Then I would drive back to my Austin home with a tub of warm peach cobbler siting next to me on the seat, and the essence of BBQ lingering all over my body and camera equipment. I would turn up the music, enjoy the Texas sun on my face, and ponder about the day, and smiling about the shot I got. The evenings were spent with my group editing, chatting, laughing about our days, and story telling. I loved it … all of it. I miss them, all of them, the PhotoMusers and the gang at Louie Mueller.
I could go on and on about Louie Mueller BBQ, but, I want you to experience the pleasure as I did. After all, it is suppose to be a photojournalist approach. I have a story to tell, and that story is about Louie Mueller , a BBQ legend in Taylor, Texas. The finest group of people I have ever met in a kitchen, and the best smokey BBQ I have had in Texas. So y’all put aside some time and come along with me. (there is even a recipe at the end for peach cobbler).
Thank you for the taking the time to go on this journey with me. If you would like to see what everyone’s final project head over to the gallery. Now … go make some cobbler.
Recipe: Roasted Peach Cobbler
- 12 peaches, I used half white and half yellow
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 cup rye
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Wash and dry the peaches.
- Slice the peaches and toss with 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Scatter over a cookie sheet.
- Slide into the oven and roast for 20 minutes, stir, and continue roasting for 15 minutes.
- Peaches will be slightly golden.
- Lightly butter a baking dish, and then pour the roasted peaches into it.
- Turn the oven up to 425.
- In a mixer, cream the butter, until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining brown sugar (1/2 cup), beat until fluffy.
- In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until fluffy and light, about 4 minutes.
- Add the water, mix until blended, about 1 minute.
- Pour the rye over the peaches, then drop spoonfuls of the batter over the top.
- Bake until golden and bubbly, about 25 – 30 minutes.