"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

creamy corn polenta . . .

I’ve been experimenting with making polenta for a couple of weeks. At first, I was put off by recipes that said you had to stir it for an half hour over the stove. You don’t have to.

In August, I’ll use fresh corn kernels cut off Silver Queen or Butter & Sugar corn. In the meantime, I add a small can of creamed corn to enhance this dish. It’s yummy!

Here’s the recipe:

  1. Measure 1 cup spring water (not tap) and 1 cup milk or light cream in a non-stick skillet or pan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Gradually add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of fine yellow cornmeal (I use Quaker Oats brand.) I find that remembering it’s about a 4:1 ratio of liquid to cornmeal that helps not to have to look up the recipe each time.
  3. Stir until the cornmeal is blended well with the liquid. Cook over medium heat until it bubbles and thickens slightly. Keep stirring – usually takes about 10 minutes which goes by quickly.
  4. When the polenta has thickened and cooked for about 15 minutes from when you started, take it off the heat and open a small can of creamed corn. With the pan still off the heat, add the creamed corn and stir it into the polenta and mix well (gently.)
  5. Add a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter and stir to melt.
  6. Add about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  7. Let the mixture cool at room temperature. Taste for seasoning – I added some sea salt because it was rather bland – up to you.
  8. Serve warm in small plates as a side dish.

This creamy corn polenta goes well with grilled kielbasa or barbecued chicken – and a green salad with a tangy vinaigrette. Enjoy!



banana bread . . .

Today, I had two very tired looking bananas in the fridge and rather than waste them, I decided to make a recipe from my trusty McCall’s cookbook that I bought before I was married (the first time) eons ago.

I scrounged around in the pantry and came upon two packs of opened glazed salad pecan bits which would add richness and dress up the top of the loaf when it’s baked. Here’s the rest of the recipe:

  1. Soften 1/2 stick of unsalted butter in a mixing bowl; add 1 cup of sugar, 1 egg and beat with an electric mixer until creamed together.
  2. Measure out a scant cup of milk and fill to 1 cup total with some orange juice and set aside.
  3. Peel bananas and trim dark spots – cut the fruit into small pieces into the creamed mixture; beat the mixture until bananas are incorporated and smooth.
  4. Add the milk/orange liquid into the bowl and combine. If I had a navel orange in the fridge, I would have zested it and added the orange zest (next time!)
  5. Measure 2 1/2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, large pinch of salt and mix it well with the rest of the ingredients.
  6. When the batter looks combined, stop the mixer and add some of the glazed pecans and stir by hand.
  7. In a buttered bread pan, spoon the batter, smooth the top and sprinkle the remaining glazed pecans across the top.
  8. In a preheated oven at 350 degrees, bake the banana bread for 60 minutes or a few minutes more, testing the center with a toothpick for doneness.

Smells heavenly, baking on a rainy, damp, New England day!