July 18, 2011

simply satisfying

If you follow my "what's for supper?" list on the sidebar (which exists to help my faulty memory), you've probably taken note that we eat a lot of simple foods.  Tonight was no exception:  cornbread, black beans, tomato slices.  It was a feast (whether because of the recipe or the love grown into the ingredients, I can't tell).

My daughters ground the dried corn that my husband grew and shelled for my jar; the milk comes from a nearby family's cow; the eggs are laid by our chickens, which range over green grass following bugs; the tomatoes are grown and picked and even sliced by my husband, and he gets credit for growing the garlic as well.

I know that "fresh and local" is popular amongst the crunchy folk, and it's a worthy pursuit, all other things being equal.  The flavor really is better, and it makes good sense, too.

But I think what turns this simple meal from food to feast is its soul.  It's not just grown nearby, it's grown and processed by people I know and love.  Their sweat adds the savor, maybe.  I hope that if you try it, it turns out just as well for you.

Cornbread

Melt:
1 cup butter; stir in
1 1/3 cup sugar.

Add and beat well:
4 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (or substitute 2 cups milk + 2 T lemon juice)
1 tsp. baking soda

Stir in till well-blended:
2 cups cornmeal (if you don't have access to freshly ground, and you live nearby, I'll give you some)
2 cups white flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup grated cheddar

Pour into greased 9x13" pan.  Bake 40 minutes at 375 F.  Serve hot or warm.


Black Beans


Soak overnight OR bring to a boil and then let set an hour.
2 cups black (turtle) beans & water to cover an inch or so higher than the beans

Bring beans to boil and add:
3 bay leaves
1 T ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
3 cloves garlic, minced

Simmer till soft (an hour, give or take).  Serve with grated cheddar and sour cream.

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