Running short of time… so let’s have a cobbler!

It was one of those evenings where people were arriving home as others were due to go out, and other others would also be going out, but to different places. Husband and daughter arrived home late afternoon, from a day trip to Clifton In Bristol, but husband was due out in the evening to go to his ukulele group which meet in the Bear (another good local pub) Son was coming home at 6:45 but had to go out to meet friends just after seven. I was going out in the evening too, but would be dropped off after picking up son from train station…

So trying to prepare dinner to feed everyone at roughly the same time was a challenge – a chicken and ham pie had been requested but I was busy and wasn’t sure I would have time to make pastry as well as make the filling. Then I had a brilliant inspiration! We would have chicken and ham cobbler! Genius idea… and so we did, and all was well.

I got to thinking about the word ‘cobbler’ in the culinary sense… I think I first heard it in the eighties but in relation to fruit, but even though I read recipes for it I didn’t ever make it and actually can’t remember eating it either. So where did the word come from? Was it a favourite dessert of shoe menders? Or is it one of those words where cobbler as in person working with shoes has a different etymology from cobbler as in pudding? And then of course there is cobblestone, cobb as in the Cobb in Lyme Regis and a cob as in a nut… and cob as in male swan.

According to, to cobble as in mend or put together, and cobbler come from cob which probably originally meant a lump of something, or a rounded something, and a cob (cop) could also be a chief or headman. There could also be a relation with cob which was an old name for spider – as in cobweb… but the connections and supposed derivations are very complicated and I’m sure scholars argue the night away over it!

It seems cobblestone came from cobble which came from the lumpy rounded thing, Cobble probably also came from cob as in the sense of putting things together in a rough and ready sort of a way (although I’m sure cobblers are very painstaking in their craft)

So is  fruit cobbler so called because it is a lumpy thing, or because it is roughly put together? Well, it is an American dish, and may have come from the name of a wooden bowl (of unknown origin) or which may have been called a cobble because it looked like a cobblestone…

… and there is are fancy drinks called cobblers…

Find out about alcoholic cobblers here:




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