Melanie Malibu, Chicken Fried Steak & No Peach Cobbler In Burnet, TexasFriday, July 15, 2011
I just saw this and hope it is not too late to get to you. There is a good American style buffet in Burnet called the Highlander. It is on Hwy 29, 1 1/2 block West of the intersection of 29 and Hwy 281 on the left (South) side of the road. I assume you mean Tuesday? If I don't hear from you, we will be at the restaurant at 12:00 noon on Tuesday. Hope to see you there.
The truly American concept of the cafeteria is hard to explain to anybody who has not experienced it at its best. In some respects my first glimpse into what the institution of the cafeteria was our daily routine at St.Ed’s High School in Austin. We would travel the line with our individual trays and servers would place on our plates what we asked for. The choice was limited but the food was not all that bad. To rest from this sort of daily faire I would sometimes go to town to the Piccadilly Cafeteria on Congress Avenue where I would opt for chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes with wonderful gravy. I would avoid the coleslaw with too much mayonnaise and raisins (why raisins?) and would head for a dessert (not all that jiggly Jell-O) but the creamy tapioca pudding to which I would add lots of cinnamon. On good days I might find some peach cobbler which I would savor with a generous spoonful of vanilla ice cream.
As American style cafeterias disappeared they were replaced by the shuffle your tray lines of airport diners and other eateries of ill repute.
So when I received the email from my friend Howard Houston as a response to my suggestion that we meet somewhere near his Texas home outside of Austin called Buchanan Dam I was delighted to see the expression “American style buffet.”
Thanks to Dolores (our GPS) we found Burnet with no problem and we arrived ten minutes early. The Houstons (Howard and wife Lynne) were already there.
The company was as warm as the weather outside (37 degrees) and the food was as delicious as I expected it to be. I ate twice as the first time I served myself a chicken fried steak (natch!) and the second time some fried chicken. There was no peach cobbler but the bread pudding was just as good.
A trip to the restaurant’s bathrooms led to the strange sight of the tin trough (used previously by cattle to sip their water, perhaps?) Howard explained that the owners of the Highlander were unusually strange. The reproduction paintings on the walls confirmed this. We left with our appetites satiated but with a desire to see the Houstons again soon.
The best part of the meal had nothing to do with the food but with an event that led Lynne Houston to finally give our precious Malibu its definitive name. I told the Houstons how happy I was with our car’s performance and comfort. Lynn eHouston looked at us and said, “Melanie Malibu.” We all knew that instant that the name would stick!
Not having peach cobbler for dessert somehow became an alll-for-the-better situation. I mentionded to Lynne Houston that the pech cobbler she had served us a couple of years ago at her home was, "The best peach cobbler I have ever eaten," according to my granddaughter Rebecca. I asked Lynn to send us the recipe. She did. And just a few days before the girls and their mother flew to Los Cabos (July 30) Rebecca made the cobbler and it was as delicious as we remembered it!
I surprised myself and remembered the recipe for Rebecca. Hope it is as good as she remembers. Sometimes the memory is better than the real thing! Enjoyed the visit today and getting to meet Lauren. Both girls are delightful. I am sure it is the influence of Rosemary and you who make them so.
1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of flour
2/3 cups of milk
1 Large can of peaches ( 29 ounces) drained
• Heat oven to 350 degrees.
• Melt the butter in the baking dish.
• While the butter is melting, mix dry ingredients together then add the milk and make the batter.
• Pour the batter over the melted butter.
• Over the batter, pour the peaches.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes. Could be less if you make a smaller amount.
I forgot an ingredient for the peach cobbler. The one that makes it taste better, I add cinnamon to the batter when I mix it. Do not know how much, Just to taste I guess.
Tell Rebecca I am sorry for the error. Glad you made it home safely. I know Rosemary is happy to be back and happy to have brought the girls home safely to their Mom. Tell everyone hellol