Note: This is a recipe post, but it’s also a personal post. If you’re just looking for the recipe, you’ll find it at the bottom of the page.
For the first two years of this blog, I wrote cheerfully about healthy recipes with trendy ingredients. I tried to muster up enthusiasm for things I wasn’t really excited about making, but had convinced myself food blogging was all about. I tried very hard, but it didn’t always feel right.
I’ve done the quick-and-easy recipes. I’ve done the health-conscious recipes. But at heart, I’m all about old-fashioned comfort foods, homey recipes, bits of nostalgia we all grew up with.
It’s the most down-home Southern food that makes my heart leap in my chest, that has me rushing to the kitchen to make it. It’s spicy Indian stews and curries, particularly South Indian, that bring back fond memories of childhood. It’s the sweet treat or the lovingly baked yeast bread that soothes me when I’m frustrated or flustered.
Patience. Time moves more slowly in the South, and the food takes a little longer to prepare. I grew up in Florida around a lot of good food, with a family that ate home-cooked meals, together at the table, every single night. I grew up eating a lot of Indian food lovingly cooked by my Mom. I also ate a ton of hearty American fare, the stuff most American childhoods are filled with. Watermelon and french fries and Tostitos pizza rolls. And these foods I grew up eating are the ones that inspire what I cook today. Occasionally I’ll put a tropical twist on something, and that’s also deeply me– my childhood in Florida or trips overseas to visit my grandparents in the Indian tropics.
Time to reclaim my roots.
I tried to blog about “healthy” foods and things that felt fresh and new. I tried to borrow some of that California flair from my new West-coast home. I put kale in my pasta and avocado on nearly everything I ate, and that was fine, too. But that didn’t really make my heart happy. Ultimately life’s about going after what you love. And if what you love is peach cobbler, what’s to stop you?
I’m all about peach cobblers and pies and cookies; mashed potatoes and wedge salads and mac & cheese. I love a good veggie sandwich, especially with crunchy pickles on the side. (When I was in high school, my Dad packed a veggie sub in my lunchbox almost every other day.) The food that delights me is casual, it’s American, it’s fun and festive. It’s Caesar salads and grilled veggies, oreo balls and Buckeyes.
The other type of food I love to eat, but never quite mastered cooking, is Tamil food. My family’s from Tamil Nadu in South India. My mom has cooked my grandmother’s recipes, and her own, for as long as I can remember. Spicy stews, curries, dosas, and spiced rices are what I grew up eating. They’re serious comfort food for me. My mom has always cooked with such love and heart, and she’s one of the best cooks I know. I never came close to mastering her recipes, but I still try to cook them at home every so often.
Just saying, I may revisit Indian food on this blog later. Don’t be surprised if you see a recipe for something a little different on here.
So this is what a food blog written by me must look like.
True blue American fare, with a dash of Southern charm and maybe the occasional South Indian recipe.
After all, we can only be who we are.
Today, we’ll focus on good old-fashioned Southern classics. In particular, this amazingly simple but truly delicious peach cobbler.
My first memory of homemade peach cobbler is standing in the kitchen with my Mom, reading over a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. My family didn’t bake a lot growing up, but apple pies and chocolate chip cookies were in our regular rotation. We only made the peach cobbler once, but it was good enough to make an impression.
This cobbler isn’t the ATK recipe, but I love the perfect balance of sweet to sour, of warm peach to delicate biscuit. I’d serve it warm, topped with whipped cream or a scoop of blue ribbon vanilla ice cream for the best summer treat.
- 1/2 cup white sugar (can increase by 2-4 tablespoons if peaches are tart)
- 5 cups of pitted, peeled and sliced fresh peaches
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- demerara sugar or another course sugar (optional)
- Begin by peeling, pitting and slicing the peaches. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. In the meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. Cut a small “X” in the bottom of each peach. Use a slotted spoon to lower the peaches into the boiling water. Boil for no more than 30 seconds, then transfer into the bowl of ice water for a few minutes. Once peaches are cool, use your hands to slip the peel off— this should be pretty easy. Pit and slice the peaches.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In an 8x8 inch square dish, toss together the sliced peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons flour. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter, crumbling it into the flour mixture using your hands or a fork.
- Whisk together the milk and egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir together until just barely combined.
- Dollop large spoonfuls of the biscuit dough onto the peach base. Sprinkle generously with demerara sugar.
- Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes, until the biscuits are cooked though and golden brown, and peaches have softened and released their juice.