It's been unseasonably warm lately. The dogs are learning to play Frisbee and I am learning to play Monopoly (I haven't won, but I have a rematch with Nolan tonight). We ordered a rug; we are decorating slowly. We are researching composting and burned all of our trash in the firepit just off the trail to our creek. The smoke still stuck to his hair while we watched TV last night, I could smell it on my fingertips this morning, too.
Or maybe it was the brand of Camel he likes to smoke. A pile of them, stubbed out at different angles, hide under rocks and in porch crevasses like small mushrooms. He'll stop when things slow down. I only smoke to look cool to strangers. It's never worked, but I keep trying.
I'm writing to the local papers more, telling them how I feel about the world these days. My best friend is going to London in May. I traced my mother's grandmother's grandmother back to Ireland and bought three pairs of reading glasses with a coupon I had in my email. Life keeps moving forward, slowly but surely. I keep baking, I keep drinking more coffee than I should. I keep forgetting to pay bills and I sleep to pass the time. But I'm happy. Happier than I have been in years and years and years.
Toasted Cornmeal Dutch Pancake
This recipe is if a Dutch Baby and a cornbread had an affair in a skillet. It's eggy, sweet, nutty, and light. It's not dense, but is denser than it's dutch baby cousins, so will not puff up to the same extent. It's perfect with lemon, cherry jam, or even just more sugar on top.
- 1/4 cup cornmeal, as fine ground as you can get (but not flour)
- 2 TB butter, unsalted
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 425*F
- Pour your cornmeal into a dry cast iron skillet (11 or 12 inches) and heat on medium-high
- Stir once or twice so as to prevent browning, but allow your cornmeal to toast and give off a nutty-sweet scent
- Now, pour your toasted cornmeal into a bowl and replace with your butter in the pan
- Put pan into oven to melt butter
- Whisk all remaining ingredients together vigorously. Remove pan from oven for only a second to pour batter into skillet and then return to oven
- Bake for 20 minutes. As the ingredients are slightly heavier, they will not puff up, but dish will still be light
- Enjoy immediately