Kaylee is a day shy of two weeks old! Last week, I cooked popcorn with Gabe using one hand while nursing Kaylee with the other. Success! Alas, so many other kitchen tasks require two hands.
Popcorn with butter, cinnamon, and sugar was sinfully good, and Gabe liked it so much that he tried to claim the entire pot of popcorn for himself.
Corn on the Cob (quick side dish)
Corn on the cob is simply sweet corn that has been heated up, but good corn is delicious raw, too, so you don’t have to worry about undercooking it. There are several ways to cook corn on the cob.
Stove top. Boil a big pot of water. “Shuck” the corn by peeling off the corn husk. Put the corn in the boiling water for five minutes or longer.
Oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Optional step: briefly soak the unshucked corn in water. (This will prevent the husks from getting too burnt.) Place the corn, still in the husk, in the oven, either on a cookie sheet, or directly on the over wrack. Bake for 15 minutes or longer.
Grill. Prepare the corn exactly as you would to cook it in the oven. Then place it, unshucked, on a hot grill for ten minutes or longer. Turn at least once.
Serve hot corn on the cob with butter, salt, and pepper.
Popcorn (quick snack)
Popcorn is a special variety of corn that explodes into the familiar popcorn shape when heated. You don’t need a special microwavable bag to make it. Microwave popcorn contains all sorts of unnecessary ingredients, as well as being expensive and wasteful. Nor do you need a special appliance that does nothing but make popcorn. All that you need to make popcorn are popcorn kernels, a pan with a lid, and a bit of oil or butter.
There isn’t much nutritional value to popcorn, but it’s a great way to entertain children in the kitchen! (Use caution with toddlers, however: popcorn is a choking hazard because they tend to put too much into their mouths at once.)
To make popcorn, heat a tablespoon or oil or butter over medium-low heat. Add a few tablespoons of popcorn kernels. Stir the kernels until they begin to pop. Then put the lid on until the popping slows down. . . But be sure to let a few fly out of the pot to entertain the kids!
Add butter, if you like, by putting thing slivers of butter right into the pot with the t popped corn. Stir until the butter is melted. Season with salt, or try some other spice combinations out, such as cinnamon and sugar, or curry spices.
Corn Bread (quick side dish)
1 cup corn meal
1 cup whole wheat or white flour, or use a second cup of corn meal
1/4 cup brown or white sugar
3 tsp baking power
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk (or 1 cup water)
1 beaten egg
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Combine the dry ingredients - the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt - in a bowl. “Cut in” the butter by cutting it into pieces with a knife, and then mashing it into the dry ingredients with a fork.
Mix the egg and milk together and add the to the dry ingredients with a few quick strokes. Do not over mix, or your batter will not rise well. It is okay if the batter contains some small dry lumps.
Grease a small casserole dish, or a bread pan, or a small cast iron skillet by drawing on the inside of the pan with a stick of butter, as if the butter were a big crayon. Or rub on some butter (or cold bacon grease, or a bit of cooking oil) onto the pan with a paper towel.
A nine by nine pan will need to be baked for 20 to 25 minutes. Test the bread by sticking it in the middle with a toothpick or knife. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done.