Our December Girls Night Out (GNO) was Wednesday, and we had Christmas on our minds. Most of us wore red, and one of us even found her old Santa hat to wear! We were asked to bring a wrapped ornament and an unwrapped toy. Those ornaments provided an hour of laughter and lots of “stealing”!
Help! My Mouth Won’t Open!
So . . . . I went for my dental appointment to have my teeth cleaned on Monday, knowing full well they weren’t going to be able to clean them ’cause I couldn’t hold my mouth open wide enough. I was right. They immediately made an appointment for me with a TMJ specialist – I saw him on Wednesday. For the bargain basement cost of ONLY $1575, he is going to make me a mouthpiece that I will wear at night for the rest of my life that “maybe” will “eventually” get my jaw unlocked and keep it that way (insurance doesn’t cover). So, now . . .(if I ever start back with it) . . . . I will be wearing my sleep apnea elephant apparatus on my face and a mouthpiece like the NFL players wear over my teeth. Poor Ted. I’m expecting him to scream bloody murder when he wakes up at night and rolls over to find he’s in bed with an alien straight out of Star Wars. I wonder if they make sexy flannel pj’s? Would that help?
A recipe for Lacy Cornbread? Ok – here’s my mom’s: Dump some Arnett’s Cornmeal into a bowl, throw in some salt, then add enough water to make a watery batter. Then fry it.
Ok, ok . . . not enough details. For that I will insert my friend Lana’s recipe (Lana is the goddess of southern cooking and a dear, dear friend). I have added a few of my “touches” in red (please forgive me, Lana):
- 1 cup fine ground white cornmeal. Both Lana and I say Arnett’s is the best, but it is hard to find except in south Georgia. Lana, who lives way up north in Atlanta, buys it by the case when she comes home or bribes family and friends to bring some with them when they come to visit. She says Hoover’s is almost as good, and you can order that on-line. Regardless, get the most finely ground white cornmeal you can find. This is KEY!
- 1 1/4 cups hot water (your hottest tap water). I did not know this! I always just use cold tap water. Interesting.
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Peanut oil. I use Canola.
- Mix the cornmeal, water and salt with a wire whisk, making sure no lumps remain in the mixture. Set aside for a few minutes. I use my hands to mix this because it helps me decide when the batter is thin enough. If batter is too thick, you won’t get the lacy edges.
- Heat a flat griddle or skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, drizzle with one or two tablespoons of peanut oil. tilting the griddle so that the entire surface is coated with oil. I use a non-stick frying pan and add about 1/4 ” of oil. Purists will tell you this recipe MUST be made in a cast iron skillet to do it right. It IS wonderful that way, but I get no complaints from mine cooked in a Paula Dean frying pan.
- Ladle the batter by tablespoons onto the hot pan. Do not crowd the pan. I make bigger patties than Lana. Maybe 3 tablespoons each.
- When the edges begin to brown, turn the cornbread with a spatula and cook the second side. The cornbread cooks quickly, so watch to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Remove the cooked cornbread to paper towels to drain. Re-oil the skillet (if frying in a skillet, just keep using the same oil) and stir the batter in between each batch of cornbread.
Note: You will not perfect this cornbread the first time unless you are a classically trained chef or just naturally a better cook than I am (which most everyone is). After years of practice, I finally began to get it right about a decade ago. Keep trying though cause even the “not perfect” pieces are yummy – crisp, crunchy, and finger-licking good (especially if you bathe each piece in butter). Oh come on! It’s the South!
On the way to my dental appointment on Monday, I called Dawn to chat for a few minutes. We will discussing all the ways we could accomplish world peace if they’d just let us make all the decisions, when I suddenly interrupted with . . .
(insert really loud scream). “Dawn! I almost hit a pig!”
“A pig! Where the heck are you?”
“On that back dirt road that cuts through the pig farm. There must be a hole in the fence ’cause this pig is running down the road in front of me!”
I got off the phone and spent the next 60 seconds slowly following this maybe 35-lb piglet as he/she zig-zagged back and front in front of my vehicle. I couldn’t pass it without risking a direct hit (although I have to admit to thinking briefly about fresh pork chops and bacon). So I honked my horn, and it scurried through the hole in the fence it had come out of.
No camera that day, but today – on another trip back to Albany – I brought the camera along on the same dirt road.
Hope you’re all having a great week! We’ve got a Christmas party this weekend, and I bet most of you do also! See you back here soon!