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POLENTA!!!

I apologize in advance, there may be a rash of alphabet themed posts as we have been working feverishly with Izzie on her ABC’s. We got her a little workbook because she is a bit behind her class and now she can’t get enough of it, I think we spent THREE HOURS today tracing letters and sounding out phonics, I’m surprised we can even carry on an adult conversation at this point.

Today was a bit dreary and rainy, it felt like one of those November days where you want to just sleep all day long…but unfortunately we are at that point in life where sleeping all day is not an option. Last night we had a date night and saw a movie followed by a very long and late evening listening to a friends bluegrass band at the Tap Room so the lack of sleep made it a bit difficult to accomplish the myriad of chores we needed to get done (all of which involve stacking wood..FYI).

 

Look at all this basil! All from my dad, who grew it in his windowsill!

 

 

When it came time for dinner it was pretty slim pickin’s as our lack of motivation manifested itself in a staunch refusal to make the trek to the grocery store. We had some leftover black bean soup from the other night, so I decided to make a simple Italian Polenta and some roasted beets to go with it. Polenta is a big staple in our house due to the lack of wheat products and also due to it’s versatile and delicious nature. I make it two different ways, one results in a porridge-like polenta perfect for breakfast, the other is firmer and more suitable for frying or serving some sort of sauce or soup over.

Perfect Polenta

6 cups water

1 tsp salt

2 cups polenta

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

Have you ever made polenta before? If not I am going to add a disclaimer here, if you don’t use a large pot with very tall sides you will be very sorry. Jaime didn’t listen to me when she made polenta, she made it in this dinky little pot and I honestly think most of it ended up all over the stove, the counter, the walls…it’s like hot molten lava..only stickier.

So, basically all you do here is put the water and the salt in said large pot and bring to a boil. Add the polenta and stir well, then turn the heat WAY DOWN and cover. Let it bubble like some primordial porridge for twenty minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t clump or burn. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the 20 minutes are up remove the polenta from the stove and stir in the olive oil, parmesan and basil. Spread mixture in a well greased 9×13 inch pan and cover with foil. Bake for another 20 minutes and remove from oven to cool.

If you want the polenta to hold its shape it’s important that you let it cool to almost room temperature. You can serve or eat it before then it will just be a bit softer. We usually make a big pan of it so we have lots of leftovers to use throughout the week, it’s really quite addictive. I served this with soup and a nice roasted beet salad. For some reason the pictures of the roasted beets are horrific though, so I’ll try that again tomorrow. In our CSA we received these cute little ears of corn, which I proceeded to cook as a little granish for the soup and polenta. When I tried to cut the kernels off it was like cutting through concrete and i couldn’t figure out what was going on. Jaime watched me for a few minutes as I sweated and struggled…only to proclaim calmly; “Honey, that’s Indian Corn, it’s not edible”.

Yeah…I just can’t get through a day lately without something…

How was your weekend?

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