The summer days I’ve slept through sit at the periphery of my mind. I like when the sheets are untucked. I like when a boy is curled up next to me. I like when the sunlight wakes me up. I drink some water, fall back to sleep. I don’t do it much anymore. I have too much on my plate, but not that hungry anymore.
I think of goosebumps as marginalia. I think they’re a secret language I haven’t learned to read yet, scribbled in the corners of someone else’s mind. I think about all the secrets I’ve kept—how I used to hide cigarettes underneath a bridge by my house, how I kept warm beer in my closet and threw the cans away at work, how I’ve forgotten my grandmother’s name and the last thing my grandfather said to me was when he called me the wrong name.
I’ve learned to be someone else while home in Pennsylvania. Cautious, careful. I’m alone more often than I should admit. I may eat chips for dinner one day; then barely rinse out my coffee cup. I don’t think much of my future right now, I just like the idea of being free.
So that’s how I’m spending my weekend—independent. Cautious. Lazy. Alone. Secretive. Curled up. Smoking. I’ll spend a day at a lake and a day at a river. I’ll spend it eating what I want and hardly rinsing the dishes off. And I’ll be grateful for the three-day weekend. Grateful for who I am today. Grateful to be more myself than ever before. And grateful to make food that represents who I’ve always been: cornfed and Appalachian. Born in the Rust Belt, a little freer than I thought I would be this time last year.
And below is a recipe for a corn and cherry blondie. But first, a couple reminders...
- I will be taking over the feed feed snapchat on Sunday at 10:00 am EST. Make sure to watch me tour the JQ Dickinson Salt Works in West Virginia! Snapchat username: @thefeedfeed. Make sure to follow along and see this amazing company in action. And if you are interested in learning about the JQ Dickinson Salt Works, I suggest the Southern Foodways Alliance's Gravy podcast they did, found here.
- Secondly, have you all nominated this blog for the Saveur Blog Awards? If not, please do so! It would mean so much to me!
Corn and Cherry Blondies
These are cakey, crumbly, and a cross between a cornbread and a brownie and perfect for the 4th of July. Makes 9 in an 8x8 inch pan.
- 1 cup AP flour
- ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill corn flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed + more for sprinkling
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 8 TB unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- ½ TB clear imitation vanilla (can use pure vanilla extract, but I like the palatable kitsch this brings to the blondies)
- 1 ear of corn, grated with pulp and liquid reserved
- 2 TB whole milk
- ¼ cup dried cherries (I do not recommend fresh cherries for this recipe solely due to the amount of liquid the cherries bleed)
- Preheat oven to 350*F and prep an 8x8 cake pan with butter and parchment paper
- Sift together flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together sugars and butter until light
- Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla
- Add the pulp and liquid of one ear of grated corn. Some kernels may get into this mixture and that is expected and even welcomed for this dish
- Your mixture may look a little curdled, but it will come together when you add your dry ingredients
- With mixer on low, slowly add your flour mixture, a little at a time
- Dough will form, but may be a little dry; add your milk
- Turn mixer off and use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure everything is fully mixed, but make sure not to over mix or your dough may get tough
- Fold in dried cherries
- Turn dough out into your prepared pan and smooth out with spatula. You may want to pat it into the pan with floured fingers
- Sprinkle a little more brown sugar on top and bake for 25-30 minutes
- Blondies are done when golden brown, the brown sugar is slightly caramelized, and the middle is puffed but set
- Serve immediately or store for up to 3 days
Note: I am fortunate enough to be a Bob's Red Mill brand ambassador this year and will be partnering with them more and more throughout the year. While Bob's Red Mill supplied the ingredient, corn flour for this post, all opinions are my own. Check out their website for more information on all the amazing products they have to offer! You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!