Guy Branum, His Mom's Peach Cobbler
Bairo Seattle I'm Rachel Bell and this is your last meal a show that famous people and the stories behind the foods. They love most today on the program. Comedian Guy Brand guy was a regular on Chelsea lately and the Mindy project host true. Tv's talk show. The game show in. He has a new book of essays. Called my life as goddess guy also grew up in a family of hunters when I was in kindergarten or first grade. Somebody brought in cookies for their birthday. It had like or they cloaked drag as on them. The little metal ball things that are made of sugar have as big silver sprinkles. Yes and so. I went to the teacher and alerted her that there was birdshot on the cookies choke and it was like so dumb that. I assume some parents guide put birch shot on cookies but like never heard the birdshot. Is that when you call the bullet? Clearly I did not grow up in a family of hunters. You know what he's talking about for his last meal guy wants his mom's peach cobbler for dessert. But it's not a cobbler recipe. That I'm familiar with so Seattle. Pastry Chef Britney Bartolini been stops by to school us on all manner of fruit baked with doe. So here's the thing cobblers Chris all of those things. You can't really define him what I would call a cobbler growing up in the Pacific northwest. Somebody would call a song or a grunt and when I say Prune you say use oh I was thinking you were GonNa say something else regularity. Yeah that's what. I was thinking that you were thinking that I was thinking. I call up the California Prune Board a phone number. I never dreamed I would dial to figure out why prunes have such a bad rap but first my interview with Guy Brenham guy grew up on an almond farm in Yuba City California. A rural area about three hours north of San Francisco. Not far from where. I went to college at Chico State. I have a food memory of Yuba city because I still go to Chico. At some of my best friends live there so I fly into Sacramento. Is it's my favorite place so I find the Sacramento. I drive up to Chico and I usually stop in Yuba city and I go to Casa Lupe seriously. Yeah Oh that's wonderful I've so many great memories of My mother loves insisting that it's not as good as it used to be and we shouldn't go there. Oh that's wonderful. I cost of Lupe was are in town Mexican restaurant when I was growing up. No matter if I'm hungry or not I have to stop. Guests can't do that hour and a half drive without stopping meal with all due respect to Washington. I mean getting some Real California Mexican food is something you need to do. When non-californians think of California I imagine they think of beaches or the redwood forest. Hollywood the Golden Gate Bridge but the reason the California has amazing produce. Year round is because of all the farming communities. Yuba city is by California standards is tiny negligible farm town. A little town where everybody does construction or agricultural labor. It's not a very educated town. We have lots of crime you know lots of trucks and mud and stuff like that. Nath too but you know it's also like a cool and wonderful place that is full of leg. Ricefields full of Duxin Pheasants Raspail. Love Duck Santa Pheasants and it's also like a very sort of leg culturally mixed place because we have a huge Punjabi farmer community and also a large. Latino community is so many places in California. Do but what's really cool. Is You have all of these immigrant communities who are approaching agriculture in their own way. Everybody has their own sort of lake story that they are telling in what they pull out of the dirt. You city is also the prune capital of the world. But we'll get to that later guys. Last meal is a love letter to the place where he grew up. My last meal would be pan-fried Pheasant with this brown rice thing that my mom would make. It was brown rice with like slivered almonds and green onions and soy sauce. That was like a bad church. Cookbook sort of you know Asian rice thing but just the experience of having pheasant that my dad and I shot with brown rice. Is this sort of like most fundamental food memory of mine because pheasant that his lived a life out in ricefields taste like a rice field came to life. I hadn't when you get commercial pheasants or whatever it doesn't taste like that and that this is so weird and dumb I was thinking about. What's a vegetable that make sense with? That was most. Yuba city is SARS onto sog which is the Punjabi mustard. Greens basically in February. The almond trees are in bloom and the orchards are all green. Because we've had the the rain and there are just mustard plants everywhere and then there are old old. Punjabi ladies with knives and their skirts pulled up with like a bunch of Greens in a little bag that they have made out of their skirts. Is that kind of like a version of SOG PIONEER. But instead of spinach you would use these mustard. Greens exactly come down exactly. So it's got the it's got the same consistency. It's just got a stronger flavor. It's usually in my experience not served with cheese in that way it just served with a lot of butter in it And then Monkey D Rotea are these corn Rotea. That are kind of like a corn Tortilla And they are also heavily buttered because it is like wintertime buttering us so that was my meal beverage. Iced teas sweetened in a very southern way and then for dessert. This is the most important it all it. All went from here My Mom's Peach Cobbler the recipe for which is in my book. Your book I mean I have like half of a recipe for how to prepare an possum. You just knocked halfway through figure it out. I just explained like how to sort of remove the skin and stuff so just to break it down. Because there's this cobblers crisps buckles all these things. Can you explain what this cobbler is? Okay I very strong definition of. What Cobbler isn't it doesn't line up with a lot of other people's so my dad's mom made this cobbler. So you start out with like a heavy duty pyrex pan or a cast iron skillet and you put butter in there and you melt it down and then you make a batter that is equal parts self rising flour cream and sugar so that it's somewhere right in between a batter and a dough. You pour that in on like hot brown butter so that it sort of hits. The pants sizzles when it hits the Pan. And you get like a nice crust on it and then over that peaches are berries. Yes and so like bakes up through and he's very a lot of people are defining cobblers like fruit with a thing on top. Yeah this is not that. I'm not sure what the origin of it is. But it's like a cliff Udi without eggs. So does that mean that. The batter kind of rises up and envelops the fruit. What's beautiful about you bake it you bay you bake it. And the thing is like it. Bakes up through to a point that frequently you cannot see the fruit by the end of it and that's the magnificence and then once you go down into it it's just Buea baked pizzas. That are wonderful this hearing Barry. Why won't you go down into a girl? Yeah you like all mode. Yes Oh no I think Nothing maybe ice cream if we're being truly decade but just on its own is is my preference because it is an intense experience. Southern sweet tea. Peach Cobbler recipes for possum. How is this guy from Northern California? Majority of the white community are people who came to the Central Valley of California during the dust bowl so like all of my grandparents including the Ju- came Arkansas in the thirties to forties. So yeah like I had a younger cousin who used the word. Reckon and Yonder also. I've never read the Grapes of Wrath. My mom is always very mad at me for never having read the Grapes of Wrath but as a kid I was very much like. I don't want to learn more about that. It's dumb and boring and full of. Yes. It's full of dust. I've never seen Schindler's list. So maybe they're like there's never the right time because I didn't watch it when it came out and so now it's not like oh just going to put on some net flicks and hang out with my cat. Oh my God. I'm GonNa Watch Schindler's List and make some popcorn. Like wins the right time. It's true brought up Schindler's list. There's nowhere to go but to take a break nowhere to go after you mentioned. There's less but after the break. Seattle Baking Goddess Bricky Bartolini. Ben Breaks down the difference between cobblers and Chris and Buckles and Brown bettys and she shares the trashy desert that she grew up with. We'll be right back. We'll be right back. Be Right back here right back. Okay Oh hi guys. It's me again this time with my shoulder pads on and I got my briefcase here because I am Business Rachel and business. Rachel is here to tell you that. There is a rare opportunity to advertise on your last meal for the first time in more than two years. We have space for new advertisers. So if you own a business or you have a friend that owns a business and you're interested in advertising on your last meal. Get in touch. We'll tell you all the details. You can message me are Bell R. E. L. L. e. At Bonneville DOT COM that's B. O. N. E. V. I L. E. DOT COM. So our BELL AT BONNEVILLE DOT COM or even to. Send me a message through my instagram. Your last meal podcast. And I'll get it over to the sales staff and hopefully we can wear shoulder pads together for his last meal. Guy Brand wants pan-fried wild pheasant. That lived its life in a Yuba city Ricefield a wild rice dish with soy sauce and slid on that his mom found in a church. Cookbook sweet tea and his mom's peach cobbler but what distinguishes a cobbler from crisp? Or a buckle or a slump and his guys mom's unusual cobbler actually a cobbler. I called into baking expert. Seattle's Britney Bartoli been. She's been with Tom. Douglas Restaurant since two thousand eleven. And by the way. Tom Was the very first guest that I had on the podcast. Not only did he share his last meal. He shared the meal that will be served at his wake. Thomas already picked a menu. I think it's in his will. He wants to be in charge of what people eats after he dies. So you can go back to the very beginning and listened to that episode at Your own risk. It's the first episode. It's the wild west back. Then it's a pilot you know it's think of it as a pilot for a show that got way better. Hopefully so Britney is head pastry chef at Seattle's W lounge and Deli bakery and she has been a baker her entire working life so I was seventeen when I decided I wanted to be a baker. I was working at this little bakery and Issaquah and I was like you know counter girl and I was washing dishes in the back and I saw the pastry chef icing a cake. This is like day three at my job and I was like. She's getting paid to do that. What the heck that looks so fun. And so that's when I decided right then and there went to culinary school right out of high school and have been doing it ever since. I haven't looked back when you left culinary school. Did you have particular aspirations for what kind of Baker you want it to be? I didn't WanNa be you know buckled into one particular thing. So that's why I'm so happy doing what I do. We're going to get to buckles are just wondering they'd catch my eye. So I WANNA talk about the difference between a Chris. Crumble buckle slump a brown betty but what I I one figure out is is what guy calls a cobbler cobbler. Because when he explained it to me I thought that doesn't sound like a color at all. So here's the thing cobblers Chris all of those things. You can't really define them. It gets a little hazy for one thing. Americans have been eating these desserts since we got here but they weren't recipes that were ever written down so they were just passed down from generation to generation the first recipes. You see for these not even published until like the Twenties. What it sounds like he is describing it. Sounds like sort of a loose biscuit dough with fruit. The only difference in my mind between that and a cobbler is that the biscuit is on the bottom and the fruit is on the top. That's kind of okay. I would say yes. We'll go ahead and call that a cobbler to me. A cobbler is fruit on the bottom with some sort of drop biscuits on top and that's what a lot of people call a cobbler. You talked to somebody in the south. And they're like no it's with hydro so it's it's hard to define we're going to go ahead and call that a cobbler okay. Yes because when I was reading I thought oh it sounds more like a buccal. It does sound a lot. Like a buckle to me as well. So the buckle is more of a tender yellow cake batter and that goes on the bottom the fruit typically berries go on top and then there's usually like a strouss oil or crumble on top of that So it's Kinda like a coffee cake only fruit ear and it gets its name from like the topping. Buckles down on the fruit so I was asking you on the way to the studio. What do you call this category of Desserts? And you have your own name. I call it casserole desert because it's all fruit and some sort of free form carbohydrate thrown in addition bates a slump or a grunt is like the early version of a cobbler. That's what the English settlers made it was cooked on the stove as opposed to the oven. And so it's kind of like chicken and dumplings where the the biscuit sorta stews into the fruits. It was never very sweet typically eaten for breakfast. Yeah and you just kind of let it burble away until the dough is cooked through and that's your breakfast. It was sort of like a riff on their traditional steamed puddings and so that was just sort of how that that desert evolved in the new world. So that's a slump or a grunts. Lumper grunts lovely names. Are I loved on what is a brown betty. Okay so Brown. Betty typically made with buttered breadcrumbs or cake crumbs. And the difference here is you're layering it with the fruit your fruit crumbs fruit crumbs crumbs and then you bake it. Oh that sounds really yeah. They're delicious when I make Brown Betty. I go for cake. I make like a classic white cake and then crumble it up. Wow very fun like a mandala. You know the monks blowing away made yes. Yeah on that topic. There's Pan Dowdy. You Take Pie crust and you bake it on top of the fruit just like a cobbler and then right before it's done you can't take it out of the oven and ruin it you. It's called dowd eating. You smash that crust in to the fruit and then you put it back in the oven and everything that uses just mingle and it gets all fantastic but it's really ugly so doughty doughty so Chris. Which is the only one of these that I've ever made because I think it's so easy so easy that's just fruit on the bottom. A little lemon and sugar and then you make an haute mixture Colorado typically. It's the difference. Is that the butter is robbed into flour and sugar and typically OATS. Britney introduced me to a dessert called poke cake something that I had never heard of that. She ate throughout her entire Childhood in my mind. I can see the little recipe card with my mom's handwriting comes from her little accordion box. It she called it lemon lime refrigerator sheet cake and it was my favorite thing to make for my birthday every year. I would insist on making it myself. My Dad would be like well. I don't WanNa see you on Oprah's couch. Because he had to make your own birthday cake but the recipe I grew up eating. It has to be lemon supreme cake. Mix What brand is that. I think it's Dunkin hines okay. You Bake the cake and then you poke big holes in it with a with a wooden spoon and then you make lime Jello and before you let that Jello setup you slowly pour it over the cake and throw the whole thing in the refrigerator sets up when you slice into it. You see these sort of like zebra patterns of Yellowcake and Green Jello. So then you go for the whipped topping which is one package of dream. Whip one package of lemon pudding and then milk and you just whip the whole thing up and smear it all over the top. My birthday's in July so I was making it bring it to barbecues and people are like why is this cake so good. I hate myself and I do have a very trashy soul. I love trashy desserts. I love trashy fruit. Deserts another thing I grew up. Eating WAS DUMP K. We call it rhubarb dump. You are from the Pacific northwest. How do you have these mid western Passarelli? No so my mom was working. Mom and her mom was a working. Mom and I think they pulled from recipes the convenience recipe so they could still put a desert on the table and you know make their kids feel loved but it's took some help from packaged cake mix and Jello and so these desserts are sorta romanticized in my memory when I eat them now. It's just kind of it's not that good. Are you listening to US ON APPLE PODCASTS? You know the little purple APP on your iphone will if so have you left your last meal a review if not well you should. It's a fun little homework assignment and a good deed because the more reviews a podcast gets the easier it is for new listeners. To find us and you can follow along Engstrom instagram. Your last meal podcasts. All right we're GONNA take a quick break but when we come back. Why are prunes the joke of the dried fruit world Guys last meal he wants Yuba City Pheasant something that. He hunted with his dad every year. You don't strike me as a hunter tell me about your childhood hunting with your dad for pheasant. I hated it very much. I remember before my like eighth or ninth. Birthday was like my mom was a guy. Your Dad has something really exciting in store for you for your birthday. And what were you hoping I was like I is a Gi Joe of some sort or are we going to go see a movie that I WANNA see? My birthday was always the opening weekend of pheasant season and so we went out pheasant hunting and it just meant that. I had to wake up too early and wonder around a rice field. I thought it was dumb and involves sort of like male talk which is not something I understood. I didn't enjoy it at all. And it was only. In retrospect I really it now because you get to see a dog do their job getting to watch retrievers. Do the thing that they were built in trying to do is wonderful. People who think that it is cruel or weird but who also continue to eat meat. I think that that is disrespectful. Of the fact that this allows animals to lead a life and sort of extract nutrients from the environment in the most natural of ways and then turns them into meat and also it is being in touch with the world. That is feeding. You write like a natural world. I mean yeah I mean I think of most people had to kill their own animals. They wouldn't eat meat and I think it does shift your understanding and relationship to animals. I grew up with chickens in the backyard. That my mom or grandma would kill and knew that. That was what the meal was. I think that it brings a lot of honesty to the situation and I think you're right people. It would shift their relationship to me so going back. Did you ever shoot pheasant or were you just along for the ride and trying not to participate? People throughout my childhood just kept giving me guns and I was like what's going on. Why are we doing this like when I started out? I just had to be begun that I would shoot. But then eventually my grandpa gave me his shotgun and it was a quantum is supposed to do with this so yeah. I have shot pheasants likely mentioned earlier guys hometown. Yuba city thrives on agriculture. Besides the rice and the almonds it also happens to be the prune capital of the world. What an honor. California grows ninety nine percent of the country's prunes and forty percent of the world's problems if you didn't know prunes are plums and these are a small special variety of French plum. They're very sweet. And they were first planted in California in eighteen fifty two. Yuba city is also home to Sun. Sweet the largest dried fruit processing plant in the world. Prunes poor prunes. I mean prunes somehow became the poster child for constipation and old ladies so I think people tend to think of prunes as a laxative. And that they're this food for old people here and Locie is the director of Communications for the California Prune Board. We don't really know why prints have stick. It's kind of been around for a long time and remains and it's uniquely an oddly American in other countries prints are regarded as a delicacy and their beloved treat. Twenty years ago they changed their name to the dried plum board. There was this shift in thinking that maybe the word Prune was such a turn off people that if we defined what it was called it a dried plum which is what a prune is that maybe people would not feel so turned off by that. I don't know that it really took off the way that it was intended to. We had done some market research to that the connotation for prunes as being kind of a lack of isn't really deter off for people after all there isn't as much baggage connected that as we had thought here and said the problem was that people just didn't think of prunes when they felt like eating something healthy so they decided to own who they were and go back to them. Prunes food writer Gabriella. Gershon grew up loving prunes but until she went off to school. She didn't know that there was a stigma attached to them. You know when you grow up in your family's house you don't know what you're eating is weird until you go to school and some kid tells you that it is cream cheese and jelly. Thanks mom really. I've heard so many people eating that I thought that was a normal food. Yeah I'm ridiculed on the daily Ono. I'm here to tell you your normal. You're welcome Gabriella. Wrote a piece for. Npr called give prunes a chance. I grew up in a health food household where you really have to search are in wide for something that could satisfy your sweet tooth and what. I suspect that they probably found the prunes That was in the eighties and it was sweet and we really weren't allowed sweets in the house but I also legit liked them and I still do when in your life. Did you realize that they were a little bit of a joke? And that you started hiding your love of this food from friends co workers not eating them in public. I think that the stigma was probably pretty early on. I would imagine well under the age of ten and really all comes back to having a health food mom and I'm sure any listeners out there who had a parent who really monitored their eating and was putting stuff in their lunches that were good for them probably experiencing similar to I. Did which is kids not finding your food desirable. Making Fun of it and to me I think prudence is kind of fell into that category of if someone sees me eating this I am not cool and then when did you reclaim your prunes. When you just decided that you didn't care anymore I went. When did I stop? Carrie I mean I definitely cared into my twenties. I think probably at a certain point you do stop caring about so many things and I definitely have reached that point to now. I think it's legitimately cooled to like things that were various densely counterculture health food crunchy grocery items yet. Now they call it wellness. So it's like a little more. Glamorous it's GUCA FIDE IT turns out. Prunes are a pretty popular snack in many other countries and cultures. And they show up in many savory stewed European and Middle Eastern dishes. What are some dishes that you liked that feature prunes prominently? You know as a Jewish family. There were the holidays that involves brisket and a lot of the time that you know. Braised meat is combined wits prunes or you can put apricots and that's a really common combination for Eastern European Jews. The sweet and savory in another very Russian thing which was a real treat and I still seek them out. Whenever I'm at a Russian grocery store is a prune dipped in chocolate. It's just like if you go to the bulk candy. I'll also like a Polish grocery store. You might find prunes dipped in chocolate and to me. They're just so sophisticated and they're such delicacy and I just love them here and says you can puree them and use them as a natural sweetener like a lot of people are doing with dates. These days there fudgy. And they're flavorful. They're kind of leathery on the outside but soft inside. And I think they really deliver a lot in terms of flavor and texture so that's just an encouragement for anyone out there. Listening to this is like Larry. Talking about prunes. They've got a lot to offer. Do you secretly worked for the California Prune Board. I should because I'm giving them a lot of really good. Pr Right now Yeah in PR STANDS FOR PRUNE PRINT RELATION relations sold. I haven't had approved since I was a kid when my mom basically medicated herself with them. Which is why I always knew that prunes were for poop in but but Gabriella Fudgy. I liked that as a description for food. That isn't chocolate do you. Yes I I know I know it. Sounds kind of gross. Maybe you're thinking of the color but like when you make the perfect seven or eight minute egg. The Yolk is called Fungi I like that I wanNA fudgy prune all right my new band the Fudgy prunes and with that sorry guy that was your last meal. Guy Com to see his stand up tour schedule and if you were like the recipe for my mom's Cobbler. It is in my book. My Life Zagat us. I do thanks to Bernie Barton. Who a lot of people know as Brittany B. She's the head history chef at Dahlia Bakery and Dahlia Lounge. Stop IN AND TASTE. Her tasty treats thanks to cure and low see from the California Prune Board and food writer Gabriella consent. And if you're new to the podcast welcome make sure and go back and check out my interview from August with Duff Mackay given the original basis from guns N. roses. I love this last meal. Because it's based on his very first job at the Black Angus steakhouse and in December. I chat with New York Times food columnist and cookbook author Alison Roman about the perfect slice of pizza. This episode was produced by Laura Scott and meave recorded with Aaron Mason original theme music by prompting. I'm Rachel Bell and this is your last meal guy grew up in an almond farm on an almond farm inside signed an almond farm.