Cooking, Food and Drink, Politics, Recipes

Friday Food and Drink Post: Impeachment Cobblers!

The past couple of weeks have offered up so many possibilities for menus inspired by current events, it’s hard to know where to begin. But I could start with large helpings of “Tripe.” Served, of course, with a “House Salad,” for which there is no fixed recipe, but which you make up as you go along, and when you finally do finish it and realize what a dog’s breakfast it looks like and that nobody really wants to eat it, you stick it back in the fridge and hope nobody noticed. Vegetarian alternative for the main course: “Bubble and Squeak.” (That one is known around here as the “Swalwell Special.”) Next course: a selection of “Fools.” Snacks to follow, including one of my favorites, “Donkey Droppings.” All washed down, of course, with large quantities of Kool Aid.

But (ding! ding! ding!) the topical recipe of the day was suggested by a Ricochet member who’s welcome to out himself and weigh in if he’d like to. Lovely comfort food for a bitterly cold SW PA weekend: Impeachment Cobblers.

What’s in a name? Well, peaches, for sure. One of my favorite fruits, although hard to find these days at the perfect point of ripeness, unless you’re at a farm market at just the right time of year. Most of the supermarket peaches flown in from (where, exactly?) year-round are like little bullets when you buy them, and 24 hours later, they’ve gone moldy and are covered in fruit flies. As with fish (another thing I’m fussy about), if I can’t get lovely, juicy, ones straight off the tree (peaches, not fish, you know what I mean), I prefer the frozen sort, especially for cooking. So, yum, peaches!

Then there’s the “Cobblers” part of the name. Why the plural in this case? Well, first, because if one Impeachment Cobbler is delicious, two must be twice as good, right? But second, “cobblers” is a well known bit of Cockney rhyming slang at the root of which is the phrase “cobbler’s awls.” (In its literal sense, a cobbler’s awl is a metal tool which looks like a screwdriver, only with a sharp metal point, with which cobblers used to poke holes in the cut-out leather for a pair of shoes, to make it easier for the needle to go through, when stitching them together.)

But when a Brit says, “that there’s a right load of cobblers,” he’s using the word in the vernacular. “Awls” is implied, together with the rhyming word, and what he really means is (Bertie Wooster version): “I say, what an absolute lot of bally nonsense.”

Cobblers.

What’s in a name again? Well, cobblers is as cobblers does, it seems. All cobblers seem to consist of a fruit, sugar, and spice mixture, often pre-baked, with some sort of dough topping. Sometimes, a soft dough is spooned onto the filling, a la dumplings; sometimes it’s rolled out, cut out, and put on top, like biscuits, and sometimes it’s rolled out and lifted on wholesale, like pie. In any and all cases, made properly, cobblers are delicious (make sure to cook the soft, dumplingy, version until the dough is cooked through. IMHO, that’s the trickiest part of any of them).

Serve warm (never straight out of the fridge) plain, or with whipped cream or (flying my British flag) cold, lumpy, custard sauce.

Here’s a great recipe, from this site. I like it because it’s so thorough, and explains variations for fresh, canned, or frozen peaches. Tastes great, too!

Ingredients

Filling
4 cups fresh peaches, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 tablespoons butter melted and cooled to room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add the sliced peaches to a 3 qt ceramic baking dish.
Add the sugar, light brown sugar, and lemon juice. Stir to coat the peaches in the mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes.
While the peaches bake, in a medium size mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir to combine.
Pour in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
Remove the peaches from the oven and spoon the batter over the top of the baked peaches.
Continue to bake at 375 for another 35 minutes until the top is crispy and golden brown.

Serve your Impeachment Cobbler warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy. And Happy Impeachmas!

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