Friday, February 13, 2009

Cardio Psychosis

Yesterday I finished my first full week of exercising regularly. I went after work every day Monday-Thursday. Hope & Healing closes at 2:00 on Friday, and I'm considering Saturday an optional day. Hooray me! I did 35-40 minutes of cardio every day, and I have to say: I don't hate it too bad. Going to the gym gets to be like going to class -- something you know you need to/have to do, but you get that wicked little charge from skipping. I'm going to try to keep this up a least through the end of March, and see where it gets me.

We had two truly delicious dinners this week; on Tuesday, Brandon made pinto beans from this recipe from the Pioneer Woman, and after I got home I made the cornbread, spiked with jalapenos, and we ate it with some sauteed turnip greens, raw slices of sweet onion, and my mother's "Amish relish" -- it's a tomato, onion, & pepper relish with a touch of sweetness. I felt a bit of shame that it took a recipe found on the internet to inspire me to make this meal that is so, so Decatur County. So country-ass and delicious. I felt as though my daddy's spirit was laughing at me somewhere, and he'd feel a little pride in seeing his daughter and her decidedly non-countryass husband moaning in taste ecstasy over one of the most basic meals in creation. The next night, I mashed the beans up, adding a little cumin and chili powder, and B fried some corn tortillas and plantains (Jesus fucking Christ, I love plantains! Why didn't someone clue me in about these years ago!) and we had the tortillas with the beans smeared on top, covered in that crumbly Mexican queso, salsa, romaine, and avocado slices. NOM NOM NOM.

Meals like that remind me that although I have a tendency to go spend $50 on Kroger preparing for some meal that includes at least a few pricy, hard to find ingredients, sometimes the simplest can be the most satisfying.

Although I have to say that after two days of bean consumption, my cubicle/our bedsheets have taken on a peculiar aroma. Ahem.


Randal Cooper said...

Dang, that cornbread has a lot of ingredients.

Amanda said...

I thought so too. Not like my mama's recipe. Also, it is a mortal sin in my mother's house to use yellow cornmeal. White only!

It was too crumbly, like my cornbread always is. Not that it wasn't good, but it was not the caliber of my mom's. But what ever is?

Randal Cooper said...

Mom's cornbread-fu was weak, but Grandma's recipe is white self-rising cornmeal, buttermilk, bacon grease. Cooked on the stovetop. For some reason (and the reason is deliciousness), folks go nuts for this.

Usually, crumbliness can be corrected by making the batter a little wetter, like pancake batter. But that's with Grandma's recipe, so YMMV.

Bette said...

I love eating purple hull peas in the summer with some of that relish your Mama gave me and a side of fresh garden tomatoes and cucumbers, salted and peppered, of course.

Isn't it adorable how now we can embrace the things that once seemed so mundane and now are, quite frankly, startling. There is something beautiful about a fried green tomato or a good batch of corn bread slathered in butter. My parents tried to show me this for years, but it took some growing up for me to realize how special Southern cooking can be.

Randal Cooper said...

Bette, I am reminded of this anecdote, which, knowing the source, may have been embellished:

"On a summer evening some years ago, two of the South's most celebrated writers, William Faulkner and Katherine Anne Porter, were dining together at a plus restaurant in Paris. Everything had been laid out to perfection; a splendid meal had been consumed, a bottle of fine burgundy emptied, and thimble-sized glasses of an expensive liqueur drained. The maitre d' and an entourage of waiters hovered close by, ready to satisfy any final whim.

'Back home the butter beans are in,' said Faulkner, peering into the distance, 'the speckled ones.'

Miss Porter fiddled with her glass and stared into space. 'Blackberries,' she said wistfully."

~ Eugene Walter, Foods of the World: American Cooking: Southern Style (1971)

Amanda said...

That is beautiful, Randal. It reminds me of the introduction of "Southern Sideboards," the Junior League of Jackson, MS cookbook; I bought it at Burke's last year. The intro was written by Wyatt Cooper (Anderson's dad) and the first time I read it, I was reduced to tears.


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