Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 98- Real Food

Right up until I made fried tofu for dinner, every single thing I ate yesterday would have been recognized by an American housewife 150 years ago. Sadly, tofu didn't have wide distribution, the cajun seasoning contains strange anti-caking chemicals, paprica was not so popular, and don't even get me started on teas containing not tea, but *flowers and twigs* found mainly in tropical areas.

But up until then I was doing great.

So what is this magic food? It's the beans with garlic I started the day before, and some scratch cornbread (which doesn't count for my part of the challenge- I've already made scratch cornbread, it was just crappy).

So the beans- in the bean pot, after i drained off most of the bean "broth", which makes a great addition to soups and stuff, if you have freezer room for it, I added
  • about 1.5T kosher salt
  • about 2T veggie oil (canola, in this case)
  • 1tsp white vinegar
  • some more garlic (what, I'm addicted)
That flavored the beans *and* the bean cooking water, which was super yummy, oddly enough- almost like drippings from a roast beast after it cooked down a bit more. It hit the same notes, anyway.

For the cornbread I was rather constrained. After all, I don't have any commercial egg substitutes, I don't have any of the more common household subs (like bananas), and I didn't have any of the rather odd healthfood store swaps (think ground flax). So I needed a recipe that didn't call for them. I also needed a recipe that looked like it wouldn't fall apart if I swapped out the "milk" for water. Oh, and one that didn't have half a dozen types of sugar in it.

The original basic sweet cornbread recipe was from vegweb. I adapted it a bit.

  • 1C cornmeal
  • 1C flour
  • 1/2C sugar
  • 2t salt
  • 2.5t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/3C veg oil
  • 1C water
Mix all the dry stuff in a bowl, mix in the wet stuff, dump into greased muffin tin or cake tin. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until done.

I probably could have pulled them at 25 minutes. Also, next time I'm cutting the sugar down to 1/3C. They were waaay too sweet.

But do you see what I mean? With basic sweetened tea, just about any woman who was recognized as a citizen would know that stuff- and so would quite a few of the others. Sure, the beans are a western variety, and the sugar and flour are both very white and very refined. But for cornbread that tasted like it came from a jiffy box, it had a remarkable lack of unpronounceable ingredients.

So yesterday I cooked almost totally with stuff I could have found at a frontier grocer- though maybe not all at the same time. Pretty cool.

For breakfast I had one muffin split in two with beans and bean broth poured over it. The bread was waaay too sweet for this- it rendered the beans pretty much tasteless, which they weren't. For lunch I broke up a muffin and poured 1/2C of the thickened bean broth over it, which was actually really good. Without something to use as a spread, they might get dry, but the broth worked about the same as butter would have. Om nom nom. Best part? The cornbread (even using fancy organic corn meal) priced out at only about 50 cents for the batch- and that price goes down if I can lower the sugar a lot or use non organic corn.

In challenge news, Alyse and Kim have already done theirs- both sound great. I haven't started yet. Anyone else done already? Anyone procrastinating (other than me?)?


  1. *raises hand to the procrastination question*

    You're definitely not alone. I see that Ruby made bread, but I really am not that brave, and since we do most things at home from scratch but bread and tortillas... tortillas it is. I will get this done tomorrow or last minute on Wednesday.

    Very good challenge! I'm looking forward to stop procrastinating on it. Congrats to those that already completed it!

  2. Bread isn't as tough as it seems. Have you done Pizza dough? really basic french bread is just about a super wet pizza dough- that's not scary, right? And if you haven't done pizza dough- totally try it! It's fun!

  3. When I was a kid my mom made corn fritters. GOOD.
    Flour, corn (frozen or canned work), egg (I don't know if you could do it eggless), baking powder, milk (you probably could do it with water or rice milk?), fried in oil. Yummy and would help you raise your calorie count a little.