Michie Tavern, Charlottesville, Virginia
Recently, when my parents were visiting from Hawai’i, we drove out to beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia.
Our main objective was lunch at Michie Tavern — an 18th century colonial rest stop serving Southern specialties based on historic recipes. I had been to Charlottesville several times before, thoroughly enjoying Monticello and the University of Virginia campus, but this was our first time at the Tavern. I thought it would be fun to dine near the homes of Jefferson, Monroe, and Madison. Very presidential!
Michie only does a buffet lunch; people wait in line and enter the restaurant at the right of the building. The two hour drive was definitely worth it — take a look at the Bill of Fare:
Colonial Fried Chicken
Hickory Smoked Pork Barbecue
Michie Tavern Corn Bread
Green Bean Salad
Garden Vegetable Soup
Crispy Peach Cobbler
The fried chicken was so delicious, we all had seconds, but then we were too full to try the peach cobbler for dessert. No matter, I purchased a Michie Tavern Cookbook (cookbooks are my favorite souveniers), and made a batch the other day.
Though they call it a “cobbler,” I would call it a “crisp.” I always thought cobblers had a pie crust on top. Anyway, there’s a pancake-like batter that you pour into the bottom of the baking dish, then you layer the peaches over that, and finally sprinkle the topping over all. Absolutely heavenly!
CRISPY PEACH COBBLER
especially for Sara Lewis Holmes, peach lover
1 T softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T melted butter
2 T sugar
2 T flour
1 cup oats
3 cups sliced peaches
To make batter, cream butter and sugar with mixer in small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Set aside. To make topping, mix all ingredients except oats. Add those last and stir until mixed. Butter 2-quart casserole. Pour in batter. Spoon peaches gently on top but do not stir. Sprinkle topping over mixture evenly. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes until topping begins to brown and batter is set.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Note: If using fresh peaches, slice and simmer in saucepan over low heat until peaches are tender. You may add 1/4 cup sugar if peaches are not ripe.
~ from A Taste of the 18th Century by Paxson Collins MacDonald and Cynthia Marie Conte (Michie Tavern ca.1784, 2006).
*Freaky cool sidenote: While the cobbler was baking, I got the munchies, so I reached for my new favorite snack: Paul Newman’s Alphabet Cookies. My new game is that I grab a random handful from the bag to see what words I can spell, just in case the powers above are trying to send me any cryptic messages.
Guess what letters came out?
Acckkk! I scared myself!! I mean, what are the chances?
All in all, a lovely day.