Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

It's on days like today that I really miss being back in Jersey. I remember what a typical Thanksgiving day would look like and I can't help but get a little nostalgic. My dad would wake up early, really early, so that we could go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We saw it live almost every year and even though it was always a long, cold wait, it was wonderful. Not so much the parade, but the festive mood, the crowds and of course the feeling of family and warmth.

Even though I moved to The Netherlands, I never gave up my traditions. We celebrate the 4th of July and Thanksgiving, and Kirstie believes in Santa Claus. I think it's important for her to grow up knowing about my culture and the things I grew up with. So today, although I'm not celebrating (that will be on Saturday), I've entertained myself with some baking. I've baked some bread, some cornbread and some breakfast rolls. But let me tell you about that cornbread though.

I've never been such a fan of cornbread. Mainly because I find it too dry and pretty tasteless. Usually it's the butter that sort of makes it edible for me. Perhaps a slice of cheese on top of that as well. I did a little experimenting in the kitchen today though and finally came up with a recipe I loved. I spiced the bread with a little dried thyme and also added a bit of evaporated milk. The results were really moist and flavorful. It was such a treat to pick up Kirstie for lunch and come back to a house filled with wonderful smells. In a way, it even felt a little festive. Even though I baked it to use in the stuffing, we had some for lunch with a pat of lightly salted butter.

Tomorrow I'm baking a pumpkin pie and making my cranberry sauce. The festivities are not the same as I remember but that doesn't really matter in the end. I'm creating my own traditions and passing them on to Kirstie. And for that I'm very grateful.

Here's the recipe for the bread:

Cornbread with Thyme
*100g white four
*1 tsp salt

*1 tbsp baking powder

*150g fine cornmeal

*2 tsps dried thyme

*3 tbsps unrefined cane sugar

*2 eggs

*175ml milk

*50ml evaporated milk

*70g melted butter, cooled

Preheat oven to 200C and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Add the cornmeal, the thyme and the sugar. Stir well and make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients. In a jug beat the eggs with the milk, the evaporated milk and the melted butter. Carefully incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry making sure not to stir too roughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool slightly before serving.
Makes about 10-12 slices.


Nora B. said...

Hi Paola,
It's a good idea to keep alive the traditions you grew up with. Your adaptation of the corn bread sounds good. I love cornbread the first time I tried it at my friend's grandma's place in Chicago. I am still looking for a good cornbread recipe that can be made the traditional way (in a skillet).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I think it's wonderful that you keep the traditions, even in another country, across the ocean - they're part of who you are!

Happy Thanksgiving, Paola!

Kelly-Jane said...

Happy Thanksgiving to your and yours Paola!


Gloria said...

Paola que rico se vè este pan,y pienso que es lindo que mantengas tus tradiciones tu que tienes de Colombia, USA y estàs en Holanda, eres del mundo, xxxx Gloria