November 21st, 2004

me3?

Happy/sad memory

shemhazai's post of last night included a mention of kids with personalities. Got me reminiscing about my niece, Jocelyn, who died shortly before her fourth birthday. My last conversation with her was about a videotape of a Brit-style "Robin Hood" pantomime; she was concerned over whether she should ever watch it again because the Sheriff of Nottingham wanted everybody to yell "boooo!" when he appeared ... she wanted to cheer instead because she liked him the best. And so, she was torn between wanting to see the show again and the fact that she wanted to go against her favourite character's wishes if she did. Pretty heavy-duty ethical dilemma when you're three and a half years old (she knew that he was just a character on tape and would never know ... it was the principle of the thing that was bugging her).

When Jocelyn was two, she rendered every adult at the dinner table voiceless and immobile by asking, with a big grin on her face and a heaping spoonful of peas in her hand, "Wanna see a magic trick?" (when my grandmother worked up the courage to say, "yes", she popped the entire spoonful into her mouth ... everybody was convinced that she knew EXACTLY what she did to them ***grin***)

Jossie would be ten now if she'd lived ... and would likely be sending me e-mails that are even more mind-bending than the ones her older sister passes on (remember those coffee beans, hadesgirl?). I'll always miss her.
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me3?

Recipe!

I know that anotheranon is a purist when it comes to southern food, like biscuits and cornbread ***affectionate teasing grin***, but seeing it mentioned in her post made me wonder if some of you wouldn't enjoy this Thanksgiving-appropriate version (I think it's delicious!):

Spiced Cornmeal & Pumpkin Loaf

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup mild olive oil
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain low-fat yogurt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the pumpkin and buttermilk or yogurt.
Pour the pumpkin/egg mixture over the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the loaf is lightly browned, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes, then turn the bread out onto the rack to cool completely.

from "Grains", by Miriam Rubin, c1995
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