Monday, February 4, 2019

Hello February and Hello Mush

February sure stepped up to the plate, knocking January right out of the park!  I guess we will change the phrase, January Thaw to February Thaw.  It didn't take long to have those sub zero days become just a memory.  During the deep freeze I did get the show shoes out and take a trip around the back field.  Snow was deep, wind was bitter but it was a mind cleansing refreshing kinda time.  So beautiful were the snow waves and drifts, You could tell how the wind would come up the valley and then head back down.  All the little wavy lines in the snow were going every which way in certain areas.  Snow drifts always amaze me and actually mesmerize me.  I stopped took a few pictures and just stared at how they hang over in big graceful snow blopps without falling.  Today I am sure they have collapsed with the temperature near 60 and the hot sun of winter beating down.  No snow shoes today, just the waterproof hikers, a dog, cocoa and of course the husband.  Off we went for two hours enjoying the quiet hills and valleys as we walked along looking at wild animal tracks.  This is one of our favorite things to do when snow is on the ground.  The woods is so quiet, even with Quincy running like a wild dog chasing tracks in the snow or marking the spot it was peaceful.  Every once in a while one of us would stop and say........."it is so darn beautiful and quiet up here".   I often wonder if everyone had the chance to take one of these walks if they would have the same reaction.  It really does feel like peace on earth out there in the woods.  Wouldn't trade it for all beaches in the world.  And......I love a good beach every now and again.  If there just was not so many people that loved it too I might share my woods days with the beach more often. 
What a cute little drift.

and the other side says, Airborne...This cup has been around for about 28 years.

Below zero and shaking berries down for the deer.  Clara's one and only "Big Foot"

How many have heard of corn meal mush?  The traditional way is to cook 1 cup of cornmeal and 4 cups of water for about an hour, stirring constantly until thick but still spreadable.  Pour it in a greased bread pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.  Slice, roll in flour lightly and fry in part butter, lard, Crisco grapeseed oil or coconut oil.  Just make sure you use butter, too, everything is better with butter.  Don't use oil.  Oil makes it oily.   So that is what you will find if you google fried cornmeal mush.  Now here is how my mom fixed it and was our favorite.  Instead of putting the cooked mush in a bread pan spread it thin on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 until golden brown around the edges and crispy on bottom and top.  The inside will have a creamy texture in areas where the mush was thick.  Spread butter, salt and pepper on top and break up into pieces in a cereal bowl.  Pour maple syrup and warm milk over top.  I am telling you every kid  I raised and my husband loves baked corn meal mush.  I do too!  It is that food to take ya back to the farm on Horse Run Rd.  I can still see my mom putting it in the bowls and me being so excited to set down to eat.  Well, for about a week the husband has been saying, ya know what sounds good?   I knew before he even told me.  It is a pain to stand and stir the mush but I tried something new.  The instapot my dil bought me!  It works great.  No stirring, just hit the button that says, porridge.  I have been making steel cut oats in it so I was pretty sure (or wishful thinking) that the mush would be ok too.  About the steel cut oats, I use 1 cup oats and 4 cups of water for a batch.  That gives me one cup a day for breakfast.  Keeps great in the frig.  Oh the easy way out to do things now a days.  How did I manage?
Corn meal mush ready for the oven.

Ta Da......breakfast is ready in all it's goodness, Cook'n by the Creek at least.

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