to warm the cockles of your heart

by Bella Rum

IMG_5324I hesitate to write about how cold it is here because I’ve seen the brutal temps in the Midwest and Northeast.  It wasn’t as cold this morning as yesterday (13ºF). Well, I told you. Everything is relative, isn’t it? And dreary! Now, that’s where we excel. It’s dark and wet and raw. Outside my window, I see a precious few brittle, brown leaves still clinging desperately to the bare limbs of my neighbor’s beech tree. It is the saddest sight.

Then, why do I love it? I love a dreary, dark, rainy, cold day. It gives me an excuse to curl up with a book or make a pot of chili. So I did. I made a pot of chili with a new recipe, and I didn’t like it. I’ve looked for a new recipe for a while, but I just can’t seem to find the right one. I feel the same way about my barbecue sauce. I’ve improved it, but I’m never quite satisfied with it. Like a middle-school-aged boy, I may like it, but I always think it could be a little better.

But wait! I do have a winner. Along with the new chili recipe, I tried a new spoon bread recipe. I liked my old one, but this one looked pretty in the picture. Don’t you love pretty? It’s kind of like a soufflé. You beat egg whites until their stiff and fold them into the cornmeal mixture. It puffs up and then deflates a little. Top your serving with some butter – the real stuff – and you will like it even more. Don’t remind me that I said I was going on a diet. I lied. I will, I will. Eventually.
Southern Spoon Bread

4 eggs, separated
1 cup cornmeal
3 cups whole milk (you can try 2%)
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar, a big pinch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees. butter a deep (3-inch) 1 1/2-quart baking or soufflé dish. In a medium bowl, whip egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form; set them aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and 1 cup of the milk. In a medium saucepan, scald the remaining 2 cups milk. Add the cornmeal mixture to the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat, until the mixture thickens (you’ll begin to see the bottom of the pan as you whisk, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the salt, sugar, and butter. Add the egg yolks one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake until the spoonbread is puffed, with a golden brown crust. About 1 hour. Serve with lots of butter.

Source: Simply So Good