Monday, March 6, 2017

Black History Month

The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week." This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates Black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.

The cuisine referred to as "soul food" originated in the kitchens of African-American slaves in the late 1800s. Soul food recipes typically called for ingredients that are indigenous to Africa and were often found on American plantations. Dishes such as fried chicken, bread pudding, Hoppin' John, greens and "potlikker," catfish, and hushpuppies are worthy (and tasty) representatives of African-American culinary traditions

Honey Peach and Blackberry Cobbler
From fried pies to rich, fruity cobblers, soul food desserts pack just as much flavor as the main dishes themselves. Their super-easy preparation, and a typically short list of ingredients, made cobblers popular as early Southern dishes. Cobbler is a cozy dessert dish—typically served warm—in which sweetened fruit is topped with sugary biscuits. This cobbler highlights two favorite Southern fruits: peaches and blackberries.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
8 cups chopped peeled peaches (about 4 pounds)
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3 cups blackberries
Cooking spray
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 400°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
Combine 1/4 cup flour, peaches, honey, juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; toss gently. Let stand 15 minutes. Fold in blackberries. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, granulated sugar, rind, and baking powder in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, and stir just until moist.

Drop dough onto peach mixture to form 12 mounds. Sprinkle mounds with turbinado sugar. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

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