Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Still on a Corn Binge

I'm getting ready to go on a much needed retreat up to Orcas Island - part of the San Juan Islands north of Seattle. A friend of mine has been telling me about a place he goes to for years - it's called Indralaya. We'll be doing some meditation, maybe some yoga, hiking, canoeing, and generally being out of touch with the rest of the world. The line "The world is too much with us" keeps resonating in my head, and this coming week will be a chance to change all of that.

It's funny. When I read what I've just written, I can't help but laugh. I absolutely love what I do and the people I work with. I've traveled enough in this world to know how lucky I am. But that doesn't mean that even the luckiest among us don't need time off. We need to recharge. Does everyone need this? I don't know. Maybe there are people out there who are content doing whatever they do in their day to day lives and don't need a change of pace. Apparently, I'm not one of them.

What do you do to recharge and renew? I'd love to hear about it!

So naturally, when I'm about to go on a trip, one of the things that I must do - aside from making sure that the cat has staff in place - is clean out the fridge. And since corn has been so abundant and delicious lately, I decided to continue my corn addiction with a spiced up version of a simple cornbread. This is one of those recipes that I took from the Joy of Cooking and then tweaked. Joy of Cooking usually delivers simple, no-fail recipes. Tweaking them "kicks them up a notch."

1 C AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt

Sift all ingredients into a bowl.


3/4 C yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 T powdered chipotle chili (see Kitchen Notes)

Combine and beat:

1 C buttermilk
2 eggs
3-4 T melted butter

Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry in a few swift strokes. You may add

1/2 C fresh corn kernels (or whatever amount you get from cutting the kernels off of 1 ear)

Pour the batter into a 9X9" pan or a muffin tin. Bake in a preheated, 425 degree oven for 1/2 hour.

Kitchen Notes

I used chipotle chili, but you can use any kind you'd like. They all have a different flavor, and they're all good!


Thistlemoon said...

I love those cleaning out the fridge recipes!

Recharging for me means shutting down the computer and curling up with a good book, cooking something for my loved ones, or spending time outdoors. I really am a simple person at heart, and getting away from the technological influences in my life is like a battery for my soul.

Penny said...

Cornbread always makes me feel comforted. Traveling to new places charges by batteries, so when I am stressed going somewhere is what I like to do. If it involves beautiful scenery, lovely food, and comfortable accomodations I am happy. Enjoy your trip.

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

Have a great renewing trip, Toni! I am such a city boy. When I need a break from Chicago, my favorite place to recharge my batteries is New York.

bibliochef said...


Cynthia said...

Recharging is key, even if one is in love with what they do.

I usually like to go off alone to somewhere tranquil or with a different view.

Hope you enjoy your time.

Unknown said...

Toni, your trip sounds wonderful. The only way I can get time off is to leave town, so travel is essential. We're off to Chicago in a month or so; I hope that does the job.

Susan G said...

To follow your quote (Wordsworth?) -- I think it continues "Getting and spending we lay waste our powers" Recharge is a funny thing for me: sometimes the total absence of getting and spending, sometimes an excess of the spending part!