A forkful of pancakes

Some time ago, I noticed extra weight gain. A panicked call was made to Mom. In a harsh and sweet tone of a voice, she said, “You know how to eat healthy. Now eat less and exercise more,” she continued with the reality of my dilemma, “…if you gain weight now, it’s difficult to get it off… You’re older and the weight doesn’t come off like it use to. There’s no excuse for being fat.”

Some may view the advice as insensitive. Personally, I appreciate the seriousness of it. Why cry about it when the solution is simple: Eat less and exercise more. The following morning, I was up at 6 am for a quick two-mile run. A food diary was started to find potential problems, which revealed large portions of food and too much sugar.

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Grapefruit Cornmeal Cake

Citrus season has long passed, but it’s never too late for a Grapefruit Coconut Cake. After all, with limes being expensive (Read or listen about this year’s lime shortages in both NPR’s Tell Me More‘s Michel Martin and Carrie Khan’s articles), grapefruit is proving to be a juicy alternative. That’s not too bad of a comeback, considering The New York Times published a story about the decline of grapefruit’s popularity, which cites similar production and growth problems to limes. The article also discusses grapefruit’s competition with seedless and easy to peel citrus varieties. It’s sour taste doesn’t help its popularity. Despite both lime and grapefruit’s production problems, paying more than a dollar for one lime isn’t realistic.

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Orange Cornbread with Greek Yogurt and Blackberry Sauce
Buttermilk Cornbread with Greek Yogurt and Blackberry Sauce

The other day, a girlfriend and I were talking about cornbread. Northerns, influenced by a commercial brand, prefer cornbread to be a sweet cake. Southerns prefer their cornbread to be less sweet, and the further deep in the country one goes, the recipe doesn’t have sugar in it at all. It’s usually paired with collard greens that are naturally sweet from being picked after the first frost of the year. Growing up, I wasn’t partial to my father’s sugarless cornbread. The older I get, less sugar is added to my Buttermilk Cornbread recipe as well. To prove everyone’s taste is personal, apparently, the boyfriend wants more sugar in his slice. Damn, Yankee.

Cathy’s glazed cornbread recipe at www.NoblePig.com is a sweet idea. She adds lemon flavors to make her version shine. Being influenced by her idea, the recipe is adjusted to a less sugary personal taste, and oranges replace the lemons. Instead of layering a sugary glaze, a dollop of Greek yogurt is substituted as a healthier option. It makes a lovely Saturday morning breakfast served with unsweetened red chai tea.

Recipe adapted from www.NoblePig.com’s Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Glaze and Crushed-Blueberry Sauce recipe. She makes a sweeter version that’s delicious. Read more

Buttermilk Cornbread just as Easy as a Cake Mix
Buttermilk Cornbread
Buttermilk Cornbread

It was the eventual boredom of playing with Barbie dolls, other kids being busy, or watching television shows that lead me to the kitchen. It occurs to me now; my father was the only family member in an open room, without closed doors. Sundays were the days, in which my father spent all day in the kitchen. As I grew older, I would read the newspaper, and we would talk about current events and opinions. These talks intertwined with my basic cooking lessons, and cooking would become an intuitive skill. With little hands, I peeled carrots, potatoes, a garlic clove or an onion. I watched boiling pots and pans as my father made a quick dash into the vegetable garden. Cheese or vegetables would be grated. I learned how to correctly prep and mince vegetables. Sauces would be stirred or whisked. Ingredients would be pre-measured for cakes as I anxiously waited for Dad to pour the batter into the pan. I loved licking beaters and bowls. My sister and I had a babysitter who did not understand why we were the only kids who didn’t like licking the batter from her instant cake mix. Out of modesty, we simply told her no thank you without an explanation of comparison. Although, we were happy for a slice. Read more