Monday, March 22, 2010
Just for fun, it snowed four inches here just in time for spring. But, with my optimism in tact (even as I read multiple texts and status updates about the 68 degree weather back home in the Northeast), we headed out to Lake Red Rock to see some eagles.
I didn't bundle up as much as I should have, so the long walk that was intended turned rather short in the face of biting wind, but seeing the eagles—where these pelicans were in the fall—at the base of the dam was pretty great.
We were also nearly charged by a flock of geese on our way out of the walking path, which was both funny and somewhat terrifying (mostly due to the hissing).
To help us warm up, we had hot chocolate when we got home and then I had my first spoonbread adventure. If you are new to spoonbread, it's sort of a cross between cornbread and grits, with beaten egg whites in the mix to add a bit of sponginess.
The recipe came from this cookbook which I love because each entry is from a real Nebraska woman, but I'm intimidated by the lack of specific instructions. With the recipe that I used, there wasn't an oven temperature given, so I guessed and was more or less on target—though I admit that had it stayed in the oven for a minute longer than it did, the top would have been burned.
I enjoyed the dish, and it's certainly easy to make even with the need to beat the egg whites, but I think I'm going to tweak this recipe the next time I make it: I'm going to increase the cornmeal to 1.5 cups to make it a tad denser and I'm going to replace the teaspoon of sugar with 1/4 maple syrup because it was neither salty or sweet and I'd prefer a more definite directional leaning. Over dinner, we thought up all of the variations that spoonbread could take—leave out the sweetener and add Parmesan and crumbled and cooked sausage, add cheddar cheese and sweet corn kernels, or go gruyere and ham for a breakfast casserole. Looking forward to seeing where this takes me!
I'll have a granny square update later in the week, so be sure to stay tuned!