Hi, y’all! My name is Lauren Jones. Most of you may not know me, and I sure wish I could pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and get to know you and you get to know me, but to say I am excited to be sharing recipes, life in community, all things hospitality, and the fun in between is an understatement. I am a wife of 11 years to my sweet husband Jordan, and we have 4 young boys. So yes – our life is crazy, our bathrooms are smelly, our kitchen is constantly open, and our hearts are full. But it’s because of our big family that I have a passion for doing life in community. Life is best enjoyed, and truly necessary, with others so why not make it delicious and fun? Keep your eyes open and your stomachs ready for fun recipes and ways to share life with those around you. But let me introduce you to another of my favorites who has, from the start, pulled me in because of their love for community.
There’s something gloriously unique about this hidden oasis off of Lake Eufala. Driving through the scenic entrance, the views can cause any careful driver to take a second look. And then past the lush forest of trees, you open up into a beautiful parade of homes that are any designer’s dream. It’s straight out of a magazine! But amidst all there is for the eyes to admire, there’s something even more special going on. You don’t have to be here long to sense the heart of this sweet place known as Carlton Landing.
If the people are the pulse of this beautiful lake town (and trust me, they are), then community is the heart. You can come not knowing a soul but leave feeling like family. Maybe it’s the slower pace, the front porch living, or the fresh lake air, but people are drawn outside, away from their phones and life’s distractions into a world of nature, outdoor dinners, bike riding, and live music.
As someone who doesn’t live in Carlton Landing but visits often, my family and I long for our times here because we know we will leave rested and filled. The desire for community is sweetly woven into Carlton Landing in an abundance of ways. Front porches and planned shared yard spaces and courtyards draw neighbors out of their homes. Outdoor tables are longing to have a meal shared upon them underneath brightly strung lights and the starry night sky. The Meeting House, where you can grab coffee, snacks, drinks, and adult beverages, is the perfect place to connect and listen to live music. As a mom of four young boys, my boys can’t wait to ride their bikes and explore with newly made friends.
The community pools and playgrounds aren’t just well-designed works but another opportunity to bring people together. And if you love pizza (and who doesn’t), Mama Tigs wood fired pizza is not just delicious but draws the crowds. Just as their sign says in the kitchen, the best place to be is together, and goodness does Carlton Landing do a great job of bringing that home.
Well if there is anything that brings people together, it’s food. And here in the south, nothing is more welcoming than a warm cobbler.
This is my family’s famous peach cobbler recipe, and it will be a tradition for our family for generations to come. If you like a little fruit with your crust, this is the recipe for you. Of course, a peach cobbler with cold Blue Bell ice cream is the epitome of southern living, but swap out any fruit to keep this cobbler seasonal all year long. It may be a labor of love to make your own crust, but the hard work and smells are worth it because there is nothing like the feeling of bringing people together. And this recipe is just longing to be shared with friends, old and new.
- 2⅓ cups unbleached flour
- 1½ cups margarine chilled and chopped into small pieces
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 6-8 fresh peaches large
- 3-4 tbsp sugar to taste
- ¾ tsp almond extract
- 2-3 tsp corn starch or more as needed to thicken
- Pour flour into a large mixing bowl. Add chilled and chopped margarine into the flour and using a pastry cutter, cut the margarine into the flour mixture until you have pea sized pieces and mixture is crumbly. If you don't have a pastry cutter, a fork or your hands work great.
- Mix in the sour cream until combined throughout. On a piece of plastic wrap, place the ball of dough, wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
- While the dough is chilling, fill a large pot with just enough water to hold all of the peaches and bring to a boil. Gently place the peaches in the boiling water and boil until skins are starting to peal off and peaches are softened, anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes depending on ripeness.
- Remove the peaches and on a cutting board, remove the skins and slice the peaches. Place the sliced peaches into a large mixing bowl and mix in 1 tbsp sugar and almond extract. For added sweetness, add more sugar, if desired. Mix in 2 tsp corn starch into the peaches. Since the peaches are still warm, the corn starch will mix evenly. If you would like a thicker filling, add more corn starch.
- Set the oven to 350° F. Remove and unwrap the chilled dough, and place on a lightly floured surgace. The dough will be very sticky so be sure to have plently of flour around and on top of the dough. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a little over 1/4 inch thickness. Using your serving dish of choice (pie dish, 8 inch x 8 inch pan, 10 inch x 6 inch), place enough dough to cover the bottom and sides of the serving dish, reserving just enough to cover the top with strips or however you would like. Feel free to add more dough to places that appear thinner or where openings appear. Using a pizza slicer, you can cut the excess around the edges of the dish while also using it to cut strips for the top. Create your own designs with strips, fully cover the top, or make cookie cutter shapes to place on top.
- Place the cobber in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until slightly golden on top. The key is to not overbake this cobbler. Place on a cooling rack and enjoy warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.