a jimmy carter meal . . .

by mulberryshoots

jimmy carter mealI read that Jimmy Carter, who has just learned that he has cancer, likes to visit a favorite diner where he lives in Plains, Georgia (Mimmie’s Restaurant) and always orders the same thing: “three vegetables, cornbread and a glass of buttermilk.”

We wish Jimmy Carter well! He’s led by example and pounded the nails at Habitat, worked in the fields and still teaches classes in Sunday School. He hasn’t just signed checks and made speeches as a philanthropist – he’s “been there and done that” for decades since he was President of the United States. At ninety years old, he and Rosalynn are fortunate they’ve had each other while sharing their life journey for so long.

And tonight, we’re going to have a Jimmy Carter meal for supper!

Our vegetables will be leek/cucumber soup, pale green squash, creamed fresh corn and cornbread. I’ll probably have a cold glass of buttermilk too! The soup has already simmered and is cooling on the stove ready to be processed in the blender. I’ll make the cornbread later in the afternoon while catching up on how the PGA tournament is going. And the squash and creamed corn will be prepared right before we sit down to eat.

I’ve discovered a way to cook supermarket corn on the cob which is not usually as sweet nor as fresh as that found at farm stands. But if one doesn’t have time to run around, it’ll definitely do. We husk the corn and make sure that there are no silk strands adhering to the cob; then cut the kernels off the cob with a sharp, serrated paring knife. (the kernels like to hop all over the place but are easily picked up on the countertop if you line it with paper towels.) For 3 ears, I melt about a third of a stick of unsalted butter in a skillet and simmer the kernels gently to absorb the butter. Then, I’ll add about a spoonful of agave nectar (sugarless sweetener) which is the secret of this recipe – others might want to add some light brown sugar. As it cooks and combines, I’ll add about 3 tablespoons of cream towards the end and stir it in along with Maldon sea salt and coarse pepper. The corn thickens slightly with the cream in it and I serve the corn in small bowls alongside the rest of the meal.

It’s so satisfying to eat simple meals from fresh vegetable bounty during the summer and in the heat, it’s refreshing to start with a cool cucumber soup! An added treat after our meal is a key lime pie that I made yesterday (G. squeezed and zested the limes!) which is chilling in the refrigerator. I’ve started whipping cream for the topping right before we serve the pie, so we’ll have that to look forward to while we’re eating our “Jimmy Carter” meal for supper tonight.

Here’s hoping that Jimmy Carter’s remaining days will be filled with as much goodwill and heart as he and Rosalynn have extended to so many for so long.