comfort, food.

So, yeah, we're cooking for a wake tonight, my first time. If you're an obsessively overachieving home cook like some people, your first impulse might be to attempt to engineer The Most Comforting Dish of All Time. This is an impulse that should be suppressed. Cook what the families have always eaten at family gatherings: this is probably as close as you're going to get to their most comforting dishes of all time.

This side of the family is half Irish/English and half Italian, but right now the cooking crew is skewed heavily towards the latter kitchen. Tomorrow's table will be filled with sweet Italian sausage and bell peppers, eggplant parmesan, chicken with spinach and prosciutto, grilled vegetables (asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini), and a big green salad...with a bourbon-enhanced and massively cinnamonized peach crumble and a buttercream-frosted layer cake for dessert.

It will be comforting food for sure, but it might have been even more comforting to have everyone in the kitchen cooking together last night...normally we'll all take a dish, bust it out individually, and come together to serve them, but last night we were all chopping and assembling each other's contributions in a way that seemed as much an expression of support as it did cooking.


peach crumble with bourbon and cinnamon.


4 big cans peaches, drained
3 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup (or a little more) bourbon (we used Maker's Mark)
2 tbsp cinnamon

1 cup flour
250gr butter (2 sticks), cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Butter a baking dish. Slice peaches if not already and toss with cinnamon, sugar, corn starch, and bourbon.

To make topping: combine dry ingredients, then work butter into dry ingredients with hands until mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal. Spread mixture evenly over peaches and bake 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve with vanilla ice cream.


UPDATE: This dessert was vaporized by the crowd. By the time I got to it, there was one still-warm spoonful left. It's pretty heavenly. I'd like to try it again with some kind of buttermilk ice cream....


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