I’m still in the thick of the kitchen remodel, and a term paper- but my mom was requesting a polenta recipe- so I thought I would offer you this one embedded in an essay I wrote this term. Enjoy.
think you’ve seen this pic before- yes you have, clever reader. Get the more concise, and previously mentioned recipe by clicking on the photo.
Cornmeal is a proper beginning for many meals whether simple or complex. The best kind, worth seeking out exclusively and establishing as a pantry staple, is stone-ground cornmeal. This key cereal is sometimes labeled as coarse-ground polenta or grits. Cornmeal can easily be transformed by additions, just as easily as it has been renamed. Its mythic history as maize, underscores its endless possibilities on the plate. Ancient Americans cultivated, preserved, and prepared this sacred cereal. When giving offerings to welcome newcomers to America their gift of corn was great. While it appeared simple, it was really complex. To the natives who presented it to early settlers, maize was rich with meaning. It was a connection to the land and their people: the ultimate taste of home. It still captures that flavor, not just to those who grew it first, but all those who tuck into a warm and creamy, humble bowl of maize.
Cooked cornmeal porridge is quintessentially comfort food. It was the embodiment of home to the Native Americans who knew it first, it is a foundational food to those who adopted it as their own in Northern Italy, and in the American South it is routine and ritual. Cornmeal mush, spoon bread, polenta, mamliga and grits are all really cooked cornmeal porridge by an assortment of names and slight variation of cooking. While their differences are slight, their effect is universally soothing. And with good reason, cornmeal—even good quality stone-ground cornmeal—is equally soothing to the pocketbook. Continue Reading →
Pardon the phone picture, heaven only knows where the camera was at that moment.
In the past few days we’ve been demolishing our 1985 kitchen. That means all of the horrid layout, the bumping into the stovetop island, and compensating for the weak stove had to go along with all of the old cabinets, soffits, and cold, hard tile flooring. We still have a LOT to do, but it nice to see light filling the room where previously it was blocked by said obstructions. And the light pouring in means we can see the giant mess of a kitchen ever so much clearer. Friends, we have trashed that place; and we aren’t done yet. The popcorn ceiling is coming down tomorrow or the day after. Goodbye 1985, and hello 2013. Continue Reading →
The original post and another one made in the fall were lost somewhere in the internet during my hiatus. I have no explanation, but here is some restitution. I recreation of that post and the recipe and original photos. Enjoy.
Green has been my favorite color for years now. Even my kitchen table before this one was painted a peppery, verdant green. It’s the color that excites and indicates progress. Green lights are for go and the first bright yellow-green leaves spurting on the trees right now lets me know the glories of spring are on their way. Green is renewal, hope, and promise. I can’t help but look at this fresh green adorning the trees now without thinking of the Robert Frost poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay. My children will attest I recite it to them at the start of each green-gold spring. Continue Reading →
- New year, new kitchen, and more changes to come
I’ve been out for a while. Really. I’ve been thinking about checking back in here, thinking about the recipes and writings and thoughts I wanted to shared- but life got frantic and I didn’t write and I didn’t post. And then the blog when berserk and some of my more recent posts vanished into the ether and I cannot get them back, despite my efforts to recover them. Grr. It was not encouraging, but I needed this space back. Somewhere to write and share the things that are so central to me, that I couldn’t stay away forever.
So, I’m back. And now for some news. We bought a house. Really. For the first time ever in my adult life, my little family has a place to live and establish a home without an expiration date on it. We don’t have plans to move, and instead making this place the kind of home we want to stay in for a long while. Which, of course, means we have some work to do. Continue Reading →
Tonight at a Relief Society Meeting, we talked about 72 hour kits. The teacher stressed putting in things that your family likes to eat and do. A bit of something reliable, when really a 72 hour kit is all about planning for the uncertain. And while there were lots of ideas and suggestions for packaged and processed food that many people are happy with, I can’t say that those would be my first choices.
The thing is, you do get to eat what you put in. Most likely, you may never be stranded on your roof with your bucket or backpack waiting out a flash flood, you probably won’t see a tornado take down your neighborhood like a house of cards, or be displaced from your home for fear of horse fever with nothing but what you can carry on your back. Yes, you have your 72 hour kit for if and when any of those happen, but there is no guarantee you will need those 5000 calorie lemon pudding flavored energy bars for those desperate moments.
Chances are, you will remember every now and again to check those things, to see that they are there and haven’t become the life sustenance for a rodent colony in your garage. Then when you check, realizing that everything is still in fact just the way you left it, you realize it is time to rotate it all out. You need to eat the food, or throw it out. Few things last forever, and the last thing you want when horse fever comes trotting into town, is to discover all of the food is bad and you are left to forage in the suburbs. (No, hatred to foraging, you know I love it.)
The point is, pack the bag, pack it with things you actually do want to eat, since you do need to change it out regularly, and no one wants to waste it. Continue Reading →