The James Beard Project is chugging right alone. Yesterday involved his recipe for Southern Fried Chicken– just regular fried chicken only fried in lard (what??). Details on the web site.
Dessert was fresh peach cobbler. And…it was my own recipe. Mine, made by me and not taken from a cookbook. Someone has to make these recipes up, right? It is my opinion that cooking from a cookbook is like assembling something from a kit. Yes, the results can be great, and it often takes a certain degree of skill, but it is still assembling. Occasionally I like to cook, invent, make my own thing without a recipe, just with knowledge gathered over the years. Such is the peach cobbler.
Rootie’s Own Peach Cobbler (probably a similar recipe to ones you’ve read before, because a cobbler’s a cobbler, eh) This will eventually get posted at Rootie’s Kitchen
Peel and cut up 5 pounds of fresh ripe peaches. Ripe is important. You can tell they’re ripe when they smell amazing and are a bit soft. Not really soft, not mushy, but just give a little bit when you gently squeeze them.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a 9×13 pan by cutting the butter into bits, putting it into the pan, and put the pan into an oven set at 350 degrees. While the oven preheats, the butter melts.
While it’s melting and the oven is preheating:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix all this together in a big bowl. THEN
Pour about 1/2 the melted butter out of the heated pan into the flour mixture. THEN ADD
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (about) of milk.
Stir well. The batter should be the consistency of cake batter. If it’s too thin, add a bit of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until it’s thick but not gloppy thick. If it’s too thick, and a little bit of milk at a time, until it’s just so you can pour it easily into the pan. You want enough butter in the pan that you might think there’s too much, but that’s a good thing. It’s cobbler. Calories are not to be considered. Anyway, pour the batter into the pan.
Arrange the peaches on top. You can be particular and make it pretty, or you can do what I do and just throw them in there, taking care that they’re evenly distributed. Sprinkle a mix of 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon on top of the peaches.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour until a knife poked into the middle comes out clean (like the way you test a cake to see if it’s done)
Now, this isn’t a light and fluffy sort of cakey thing. The juices from the peaches soak into it as it’s baking, so it’s very moist. Terry prefers to eat it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, I like it with a dollop of whipped cream:
1 pint whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
Whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Put a dollop on top of the cobbler, then put another dollop because the first one was probably not generous enough.