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Friday, August 26, 2011

Southern Cooking

The last couple of months I have been longing for comfort food I remember from my southern family.  My dad used to make a couple, and my mom made a few too.  Some things I definitely don't miss - brussel sprouts, liver & onions and "greens".  (However on a recent trip to Louisville, we had some great "greens" with spinach sauted in pork fat - yum!)  The two I've been particularly interested in making were chicken & dumplings and peach cobbler.   One of the interesting things about these dishes is that my husband and I both remember very similar recipes from our childhoods.

For those of you with "northern" families, I'm not talking about chicken & dumplings that are big round globs of flour dropped into boiling water.  I'm talking about the thinly rolled and cut dumplings that are gently placed in a pot with lots of chicken and broth.  My mom and grandmother never gave me a recipe for this fine dish, but I recently found a promising one on  I'm not listing it here as a recipe, because I'm not quite sure I perfected it - a little too soupy for me.  I also didn't roll the dumplings quite thin enough or have the water boiling enough.  Have to try it again.

In the meantime, it's peach time and I'm ready to try some peach cobbler.  I was wimpy (and not true southern) by using pre-made sugar cookie dough as the bottom crust, but hey, I did try grandma's pastry crust for the top.  My results were OK, but not quite good enough.  Here's the peach filling before I put the crust on:

I used white peaches, which I don't think were as sweet.  Being wimpy on the bottom crust wasn't very satisfying, but the top pastry part was promising.  I'm going to have to give this one another try too.

I'd love to hear about your favorite childhood comfort food.  In the meantime, I'll keep working on mine.