Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010: Beautiful Food, Small Crowd, all Grown Up

It's officially Eggnog Time! Supreme Eggnogster and neighbor Mick Jeffries brought a festive bottle across the street, and the season officially began. Thank you, Mick!

The bounty of Seedleaf greens, mixed with the Clear The Campsie Garden greens meant a huge offering, on top of polenta with homemade feta.

And yes, we benefited from post-Turkey-ism, too. This beautiful dark soup was one of two that brilliantly and wisely used the flavors of the big holiday meal to make new, tasty foods.

This popular dish of roast root vegetables arrives most Mondays in this season, thanks to faithful Supperian David Elbon. Its usual life span after arrival: about 3.5 minutes.

Good foods from November 29 that were noted on left-behind Food Description Slips:
  • Autumn Potatoes: Red and purple potatoes, herb & garlic infused cream & Parmesan on top: Baked Goodness (amen)
  • Sweet Bourbon Corn Pudding
  • Turkey, Basmati, Carrots, Onions, Greens
  • Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce
  • Turkey Soup with lots of mushrooms, barley, carrots, parsnips, + etc.
  • Scallion Parmesan Cornbread, no gluten, vegetarian
  • Feta-Polenta with Mixed Seedleaf/Campsie 4-Minute Greens; vegetarian
  • Plain Black Skillet Cornbread; no gluten, veg
  • Homemade Butterscotch Pudding
  • Peanut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Foods your documentarian witnessed (and remembers) that did not show up in the left-behind slips:

  • Roast Salmon
  • Mixed roast root vegetables (as you saw, above)
  • Homemade bread (multiples)
  • Vegetable Salad
  • Homemade Eggnog (also above)
We missed only the usual cheering collection of children and babies, all of whom must have been sleeping away the effects of Thanksgiving over-indulgence. Cornbread Suppers is usually a two-storey event, with tall people and short people generously sharing the space. When the short people are not present, the gathering is quieter, and we still enjoy it, but we know one flavor is temporarily missing.

    Sweet Bourbon Corn Pudding

    Cornbread Supper regular (and recipe sleuth) Elise Mandel brought this sweet dish to Supper on November 29, 2010. Here's the recipe. Thank you, Elise!


    Preheat oven to 350 and butter an 8 x 8 baking dish.

    2 large eggs
    3/4 c evap. milk
    MIX together.
    ADD all the rest:
    2 cups creamed corn (i just used one whole can)
    2 cups corn kernels
    2 TB melted butter
    3 TB brown sugar
    3 TB cornstarch mixed w/ 2TB bourbon
    l/2 tsp nutmeg
    dash ground white pepper
    (Cajun spice)
    Bake 45 - 48 minutes or until lightly browned. 
    Serve warm.

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Butterscotch Pudding, Adapted from David Lebovitz

    With wonderful local milk, we sometimes make Butterscotch Pudding for Cornbread Suppers. David Lebovitz, former pastry chef at Chez Panisse and presently a cookbook author and food writer who lives in Paris (the one in France), developed and published this Butterscotch Pudding recipe.

    You can cook the Lebovitz recipe just as printed and have good success. Here are ways we have tweaked it:

    1. I have doubled and (almost unheard of) quintupled this recipe, cooking it in a slow cooker to avoid all the stirring. I do stir a lot, but I know it won't burn, at least. The end result is usually lumpy and weird in texture, and then it become silky smooth after I blend it for about 30 seconds (in batches) in my blender. Awesome.

    2. As written, the recipe is unnecessarily sweet. Cut the brown sugar to a rounded 1/2 cup, and it seems wonderfully balanced.

    3. For flavorings, lots of options. We have replaced the whiskey with vanilla. We have used two teaspoons each of Bourbon, dark rum, and vanilla. All are delicious. The whiskier version may give parents pause a child food, so sometimes we just use vanilla (which, of course, is itself alcohol - but not MUCH alcohol.)

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    November 22, 2010 - a warm winter's night, complete with outdoor dining and play

    It isn't all cornbread at Cornbread Suppers. People make excellent homemade breads, bring beautiful bakery loaves, and honor the wheat impulse in all manner of ways.

    With the mostly warm fall, our heritage rose (Rona's grandmother's polyanthus type, name unknown) keeps on supplying beauty for our gatherings.

    And about wheat -- semolina, in fact -- the arrival of friends from Lexington Pasta Company carrying a bounty of their signature fresh pasta typically causes an all-ages rush to the table.

    Things get hectic around the Cornbread Supper table at about 6:15 PM, as the crowd arrives, many bearing hot dishes and needing trivets and ladles and scoops and so on - so sometimes the bearers never get to the little slips of paper and pens to complete their little Food Description Slips. But your documentarian enjoys those that are completed and left behind, and also enjoys sharing them, usually verbatim, with you. From this week:
    • Venison Chipotle Beans
    • Chelb (Czech) Peasant Bread
    • Smoked sausage, butternut squash, and wild rice soup
    • Macaroni & Cheese: Whole Wheat Penne, Broccoli! From the New York Times website (veggie Thanksgiving recipe)
    • Green w/carrots in peanut oil; Elmwood Stock Farm
    • Local turnips, beets, carrots, onion, garlic, sage, oregano. Oilve Bella oil
    • Plain Old Kentucky Cornbread: no sugar, no flour, vegetarian
    • Nearly final Campsie tomatoes, w/onions, bread crumbs, Kenny's Kentucky Blue Cheese
    • Mexican Cornbread; contains beef, one end contains extra layer of Poblano chilis; no sugar or flour
    • Vegetarian Cornbread: Blue (Cheese) + Green (Campsie onions); no sugar, no flour
    • Pumpkin* & Cream Cheese* Brownies [*They kind of skimped on the pumpkin & cheese] (sic -- straight from the Food Description Slip!)

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Cornbread Suppers, November 8 and 15, 2010

    Again. Two separate weeks' precious little Food Description Slips, dropped and commingled. Bad bad documentarian! So - one post for two weeks.

    Lots of people come to Cornbread Supper these days. On November 8, despite the date, perhaps 20 people sat on the front porch during Supper. Not so on chillier November 15, when people stayed indoors, filled all the chairs, some of the stairs, and sometimes sat in the floor, seeming to have a lively fine time no matter what. Certainly their hosts and documentarian are enjoying these fine groups.

    Foods have been hearty and beautiful. The cornbreads have been not quite bountiful enough, and that's about to change with a renewed commitment to Plenty of the Main Thing Going Forward.

    Looking backward one more time, here are the contents of the Food Description Slips, two weeks mixed together:
    • Black Pepper-Parmesan Cornbread - vegetarian, no gluten
    • Roasted local turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, and sage; olive oil from Oliva Bella
    • Collards & Turnips (just barely)
    • Homemade Mozz
    • Vegan ------ has almonds
    • Guacamole
    • London-Ferrell Greens w/Reed Valley Apples
    • Chelb (peasant) Bread
    • Homemade Mozz w/herbs
    • Cream of Tomato Soup (KY milk, tomato juice, flour) Contains dairy & wheat; vegetarian
    • Campsie Tomatoes & Herbs; homemade fresh milk mozzarella (not pasteurized)
    • Curried Rolling Fork Farm Butternut Squash Bisque w/Apples & Almonds
    • Split Pea Soup with pork. Not vegetarian!
    • Braised Cabbage & Apples
    • Roast Whole Balsamic Carrots
    • Roasted Turnips, Kale, Broccoli tossed w/olive oil/salt/pepper
    • Mesclun, raspberrie, pomegranate, walnuts, feta, poppy seed dressings
    • Mac & Cheese; onions, garlic, bacon
    • Fried apples & onions from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy
    • Artichoke & Spinach; has flour, cheese