Monday, August 23, 2010

Purple Peas, Peachy Cobbler and Southern Hospitality


When this is what you wake up to every morning and where you spend your days and evenings....it sure does make it hard to go home and get back to work. I just got back from spending 10 wonderful days at mom and dads in the good ole hot sticky humid south. And I loved every minute of it.

Mosquito bites and all.

95% of my family lives in Alabama. Where it's always green, the food comforts the soul, and hospitality is a way of life. And my daighters and I enjoyed it all while Sir Sportsalot stayed home and held down the fort. (hmmm...I wonder who had more fun....us girls or a temporarily bachelored (is that a word???) sports nut?)

Before I give you a taste of some of the food we chowed on, let me show you some of the ways we experienced true southern living.....

A little live entertainment at a local club called Boondocks. Where the parking lot disappears into the lake, margaritas are served in plastic disposable cups, a bartender breaks horses by day, and my brother serenades a lively crowd


Where else can you be greeted like a friend and treated like a family member (nope, I'm not talking about the old man in suspenders talkin to dad....I'm talking about the 2 dogs .....carryin' on)


A trip to 'Bama wouldn't be the same without the wildlife. There's something comforting about sitting on the porch, listening to a forest filled with the song of the cicada


And how can you fully experience the south without a pageant? My little niece (shown in the middle) participated in her second pageant. It wasn't one of those big time, full fledge pageants. It was a fund raiser for a local high school band. She did wonderfully. All the girls did, whether they won anything or not.


And last but not least....the food! I looooove me some southern cooking! My baby sister, Nicki made us a full fledged southern meal, complete with cornbread, coleslaw, and fried okra.

She had gone to the farmers market that morning and bought a couple pounds of Purple Peas


I think this is the most beautiful bag of peas I've ever seen. So the two of us sat on the back porch with our tall glasses of sweet tea, in true southern fashion and shelled this bag of peas


They shelled easily enough so it didn't take us all that long. Thank God cuz maaaaaan, was it hot outside! But in no time at all we had ourselves a good amount of peas shelled and ready to wash and cook.


Look at how perty them peas are! I think of them as a girlie version of black eyed peas. My sister cooked them the same way she cooks black eyed peas...in a pot of water with a ham hock. The flavor was fabulous! More mild....not as earthy tasting as black eyed peas. I think out of the two kinds, I prefer the purple ones. I can't wait to hit the farmers market in Hollywood to see if I can find me a few pounds. How would you cook yours?

And for dessert, we were treated with a Peachy Peach Cobbler. Well....that's what it was suppose to be according to the directions....only a little adjustment was made. Instead of just peaches, Nicki added some raspberries.

Peachy Peach Raspberry Cobbler
Printable Version

Crust:
1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup well chilled vegetable shortening, cut into small bits
3 tablespoons well chilled unsalted butter, cut into small bits
3 tablespoons ice water (or more if necessary...it usually takes my sister 5 tablespoons)

Sift flour, salt and baking powder together into a large bowl


Add the shortening and butter and toss to coat the pieces of fat with flour. With a pastry blender, cut the fats into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle water over crumbs and toss with a fork. Do not mash! Gradually the crumbs will form into clumps. With floured hands, form dough into a mass by pressing the mixture against the side of the bowl. All of the crumbs should adhere to the dough and clean the bowl. If not, add a few more drops of water. Form the dough into a flat rectangle if you are using an oblong dish or shape into a flat disk. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Cobbler:
8 - 9 cups fresh peaches (or 2 lbs of peaches, or a combo of peaches with cherries, raspberries or blueberries)
3/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 425' F. Butter your dish. (it doesn't say what size....I think something around 11x7?)

Cut the peaches into 1 inch slices. In a large bowl, combine the peaches (and raspberries if desired), 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.



Toss to coat. Empty mixture into prepared dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle fruit with lemon juice and dot with butter.

On a floured surface, roll out the pastry about an inch or 2 larger than your dish



Place it loosely over your fruit. Press edges against the side of the dish with a fork or fingers. Prick the top in several places with a knife or fork to make steam vents. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 tsp sugar. Nicki likes to brush the top with an egg wash first.....I recommend doing the same. She knows what she's talking about.

Bake the cobbler for 40 - 45 minutes, until the juices begin to bubble and the top is golden brown. You might want to place the dish in a foil lined cookie sheet or drip pan to prevent a sticky mess in your oven.

Serve warm with ice cream.



Let me tell you...as full as I was after eating dinner, I found room for this fabulous dessert. DISLISH!!!

This is my entry into entry into this weeks Two For Tuesday Blog Hop Carnival. Check out Heather's place over at Girlichef.blogspot.com to see what that's all about

TwoforTuesdays@girlichef


15 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with Two for Tuesday. We love to see stories about what colors peoples' food world! I have never heard of purple peas, but I would love to try them. I can't imagine any bean tasting better than being cooked with ham hocks. Maybe I could see a quick version, with shallots and bacon. But no, really, ham hocks for my peas please ;)

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  2. Beautiful holiday and I'm glad you and the girls enjoyed your time with the family.
    Cobbler looks and sounds like a killer.
    I've never even heard of purple peas, they look so cute.

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  3. I would really love to visit the southern states - it's on my "bucket list"!!!

    Really enjoyed this post ... thanks :-}

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  4. My heart when thump thump when I saw the purple peas. Growing up in south Arkansas I shelled bushels and bushels of peas as a child, including the purple peas, which we called purple hull peas. As I recall, my mother cooked them like she did any other pea until they were tender and took them up before they got mushy.

    In Arkansas we always bought them from local farmers by the bushel and in all of the different places I've lived as an adult, I've never seen them since. Your southern meal of peas and cobbler is lovely and authenic southern goodness.

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  5. Nicki (the baby sister)August 24, 2010 at 5:34 AM

    How does a little ol' story about purple peas make me cry??? I guess because I was there and got to enjoy them with my big sister and precious nieces. It WAS a fabulous meal and wonderful 10 days...but it would've been the same story no matter what we ate and where we were! Eating with family makes everything taste better! :) I love you guys and miss you already! What a blessed family we are: great cooks who love eachother almost as much as we love food! ;P

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  6. Oh, Dani! You brought a tear to my eye, too =) Those peas are so gorgeous...and just the image of you kicked back w/ the fam for 10 days...I love it! I'm glad to hear you had such a wonderful time...and thanks for sharing it with us. That's the good stuff, baby ;)

    omg...verification word 'rewinedo'. I'm pretty sure that's some sort of lushy-sign. right? oops, I spilled my glass...must need a re-wine-do. um...

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  7. Oh my mama is from the south - Mississippi - and there ain't nuthin' like southern cooking made with love! Thanks so much for sharing this post with us at Two for Tuesdays!! I could almost taste the dinner from here!

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  8. Dani! I love dem purple peas! I am so laughing I simply JUST finished saying to butter in an email, i so want some black eyed peas and I come into your lovely spot and see this! ALSO! I was thinking as I will be rendering some leaf lard this week and have peaches that I wanted to make peach cobbler! We are SO on the same page today woman! Thanks for sharing on the two for tuesday blog hop! :) Alex@amoderatelife

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  9. What a lovely post - and a wonderful cobbler recipe too! Thanks for sharing it.

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  10. I'm headed to Alabama in November. Can't wait for Thanksgiving Southern Style.

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  11. Everything looks so delicious!

    We had 'purple hulled peas' a lot because when growing up. We always had a large vegetable garden.

    We usually only had dessert once a week. During the summer, it was usually berries or fruit pie. We had lots of peach pies.

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  12. I'm glad you had a nice trip back home. I didn't know there was such a thing as purple peas....would love to try them. Your cobbler looks so good..wish I had some right now.

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  13. I have never seen such beautiful looking peas, and that cobbler looks gorgeous too.
    Sue

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  14. You are so right about the song of the cidada being the official song of summer.

    And I remember my mom, grandmom and aunts on the front porch shelling beans and story telling on my grandparents farm.

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  15. Purple (hull) Peas! Oh my this is a memory trigger... shelling ph peas on the porch with an iced tea... we would hull peas untill our fingers turned near black with the purple stain. And were they erver taty with that ham hock and corn bread.

    Great post! Great photos! But better are the memories than poured forth. Thanks.

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