Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Although most of us like to have our moment, or time to shine, to be special, in general we all want to fit in with others, to be part of a family, of a group, of our community.
To be different is often considered to be a trial or hardship given the almost universal desire to blend. When I was growing up my parents encourage us to be different. Maybe that was their way of dealing with having a large family when the suburban norm of the time was 2.5 children, not 8. The reason doesn't really matter and most of the time I'm grateful to them for encouraging us to be ourselves, to find our own path and not try to be like the latest flavor or fad. The only downside is that most of the time one also feels just a beat out of step with the rest. I did that when I tried jazzercise and ended up turning the wrong way and bumping into the other dancers. Maybe that's one reason why slow weight training appeals to me. The only one I'm being different than is myself if I'm able to do better than last time.
Today is all about being different. Those who were born or married or died on a February 29th Leap day won't have a repeat for four years instead of the usual one year...imagine how that feels!
To celebrate the oddness of the day, I created an odd recipe. Part cornbread, part spoonbread, part fish loaf this one is tasty but might not get repeated for four years, either.
A piece of leftover grilled salmon caught my eye yesterday at lunchtime. We had enjoyed the salmon the previous night for dinner and the leftover piece was fairly small. For some reason I thought that it would go well with corn and spinach and first considered an omelet but then decided to go with cornbread. I usually keep a box of cornbread mix in the pantry that makes just 6 muffins, so it is basically half a batch. You mix the contents of the box with one egg and one third cup of milk or water and bake it at 400 degrees F.
The enhanced variation of cornbread came together quickly. I increased the egg to two and the milk to 3/4 cup which increased the moisture...a bit too much as it turned out, at least for a loaf pan. I baked it at a lower temperature and in a loaf pan. Once the mixture had baked for fifteen minutes I checked the interior...still a batter...so I dug in with a large spoon and turned the top toward the sides to let the interior cook more quickly. Perhaps I should have just let it bake at 400...I'll try that next time.
It made a delicious savory lunch.
The corn muffin part was moist and flavorful and a bit like a spoonbread, the salmon pieces warm and delicious. The spinach was just barely cooked and still bright green. Very enjoyable and there was enough left over at lunch to serve two of us a nice portion at dinner last night. Good thing I enjoy salmon and never tire of it. Sweetie added some barbeque sauce to his dinner portion and liked the result.
For those of you who are interested in what is going on here at the farm, Sweetie finished burying the last of the conduit with the fence wire. I went to the doctor and was told that I might have a virus as well as the hay fever and to avoid fresh grass, so no helping Sweetie.
The seedlings of zucchini, chard and tomato are getting bigger in the sunspace. The daffodils are blooming and tulips will be soon.
Sweetie made great progress yesterday in PT, being able to push his shoulder back and open up his diaphragm for better breathing. His overhead reach has improved, too. Better results at racquetball today, too.
Salmon and Spinach Cornbread
1 package corn muffin or bread mix for 6 corn muffins
Note: If you only have corn bread or muffin mix for 12 muffins, make half the mix into muffins and use half for this recipe.
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground if possible
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, stems removed, chopped
1 cup flaked cooked salmon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the corn muffin mix, eggs, milk and pepper. Stir just until dry ingredients are mixed wet. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan.
Sprinkle half the spinach and half the salmon over the mixture in the pan.
Pour in another 1/3 of the muffin mixture and repeat layering with the remainder of the spinach and salmon.
Pour remaining muffin mixture over the spinach and salmon and poke down any spinach or salmon floating to the top. Smooth the top and place pan into preheated oven.
Set timer for 15 minutes. At that time check interior. If middle is still batter, scoop the top off, using a large spoon, and set it damp side up to the side of the loaf pan, exposing the batter in the middle.
Continue cooking for 5 -10 minutes more until the batter towards the center holds its shape. Place the top pieces down to re-establish the loaf shape. Let cool 3-4 minutes on a rack.
Serve warm. Best served by scooping from the pan with a large spoon.