"A slice, a wedge, or a thog?"... Southern Mama with knife poised above homemade Thanksgiving pies, cakes, and cornbread.
A thog (pronounced thahg) of yummy skillet cornbread might mean a 1/4 of the pan. With more people coming to today's family/community festivities on the lane than I'd realized, am doing Hopi blue corn muffins of fixed content instead.
This after one of the celebrants alerted me to volume needed last night.
"Maybe I'll do spuds," I thought out loud.
"You'll need 4oz of potatoes per person." He made his fortune in the hotel/resort business.
It was late. I willed my eyes to remain mellow and did not mention groaning board training of a Southern family. The savory purple spuds are in the oven now. Recipes will follow after the feast.
Yesterday, I was sitting in a shop near the old town plaza, keeping a promise to substitute for a friend who's visiting family. I had made a nest to get comfy, meeting her clientele, when an unwashed man plopped down on the floor beside it with a book from the shelves.
He stank. I felt myself starting to recoil from the human rubble at my feet, and was ashamed.
He read for awhile then turned and looked at me with brilliant hazel green eyes; offered his hand. A firm grip.
I went about my business quietly. His clothes seemed to be from the cast-off box and were scant for snow being on the ground. He must be living rough in some hidey hole. At the Men's Shelter he could have showered and washed his rags.
I came to, from ruminating the economy to the particulars of the man. It was mid-afternoon.
"Have you eaten?" I asked.
I rummaged in my snack stash and handed him a jar with half a steamed yam. He ate it in small slow nibbles, murmured a thank you as he put back his tea cup. Cold wind swirled in the door as he left.
This grew more vivid to me as a friend staggered in with two cardboard boxes of food. The owners of the relatively new store are struggling with inventory not yet meeting income. They have children; food stamps are not stretching far enough.
Once a week the friend, a great heart, brings greens from his 4-season hoop house garden on the mesa. Beyond that, he goes behind the big health food store and scavenges imperfect dumpster produce for the family.
The owner's face lit up when she saw him:
"Last week the potatoes you brought fed five of us for two days!"
We have much to celebrate, and to realize.
Strap on your seat belt, honey, we're about to launch into fresh-ground organic flour. Why bother?
1) Within 24 hours of grinding, B-Vitamins and Vitamin E have pretty much oxidized. You get full nutrition content and satisfying flavor when you grind grains at home.
2) In the US, even flour labeled "whole grain" has had goodies removed, the germ and some bran, to increase shelf life. (Sitting months on market shelves.) The goodies go into animal feed.
3) GMO's are a cancer across the agriculture lands of the world now. When you purchase organically grown grains, you give sanity and stewardship a market base, and you take action to protect your family from Monsanto.
4) Food allergy issues are on the increase due to Ag-poisons in foods, GMO damage to guts of humans and livestock, overuse of antibiotics, etc. For those who want to buy gluten-free flours and products, there may be a cross-contamination issue: from same silo storage, grinding stones, wheat processed in same facility. See 3-part gluten series at:
Right sidebar; scroll down.
I use a hand-crank German-engineered flour grinder, the Family Grain Mill from Pleasant Hill Grain. Given the chance, children love to help turn the handle for baked treats.
Or, if moving fast, I use the grinding carafe on a Vita-Mix.
Thanksgiving Cornbread Muffins
I ground 2 c. grains:
1 1/3 c Hopi blue corn kernels, with
Red jasmine rice, bringing total to 2 c.
Sift the flour to catch any corn chunks. This will make left over flour which I froze for future hot cereal.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Note: all ingredients organic.
Whisk together, room temperature:
2 organic eggs
a slosh of organic molasses, ~ 2Tbs.
1.5(+) c. organic buttermilk or kefir
Melt 3-4 Tbs organic butter
1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt
Dry Ingredients, separate bowl:
2 c. corn/grain flour, scooped and leveled with knife
1 tsp. rounded of xanthan gum
2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder (Featherweight)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbs. Lewis Labs (G-F) Brewers Yeast
1/2 c pecans or walnuts
Optional: 1/2 c. grated organic cheese
Stir dry into wet with few strokes. Use two spoons to fill buttered muffin tin. Bake ~25 minutes. Cool on rack. Yield: 1 dozen.
with left over flour:
In heavy non-aluminum pot, bring to boil:
2.5-3 c. water
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt or to taste
1 Tbs. Sucanat
1 tsp rounded organic cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. cardamon
4 dried apricots chopped
4 dried figs chopped
1/2 chopped apple, or dried
1 Tbs. organic coconut oil
Reduce heat to simmer. Whisk in:
1 c. leftover corn/grain flour. Cover with heavy lid (Le Creuset pots are good for this sort of thing.) Simmer 5 min. Set timer. Let sit a couple more minutes. Serve with kefir, cream, almond milk, or as is.
Rosemary Garlic Potatoes
For oven roasting, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use heavy non-aluminum uncovered lasagna pan or roaster. I used purple-fleshed potatoes in this case. Golden-fleshed also yum. See solar oven version at:
Oven bake for 1 hr. Check half way through and use egg-flipper to loosen spuds. These turn golden and crispy, purple pommes frites!