letter to the editor

Cooking at home

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 3:30pm

Dear Editor:

Many of us wake each day with a knot in our stomach. We are afraid to check the latest news reports and at the same time we cannot resist the pull. There is hope that the most recent update includes a positive that provides a solution to help our defenseless immune systems cope and survive.

Reports also include the generosity of spirit that radiates out in troubled times. This morning we found a Post-It-Note at our door. Three unknown neighbors/roommates shared that they are “laying low for the next few weeks to flatten the virus curve.” They shared contact information so we could reach out to them if we needed help or food.

Food is a basic need. Sharing meals creates a bond, and not being able to physically have that connection with family and friends is a painful rupture to life as it used to be. If we must keep our physical distance perhaps we can share recipes and food stories online, in print, or any other manner that is available.

This is my food story. For part of my 25 years as a special ed teacher I was in charge of a life skills cooking class. It was a hoot. We studied manners, table setting, basic food preparation hygiene, and practiced math and writing skills with good eating as the end result. Recipes dovetailed with the geography class and so we happily ate our way around the world. The basic rule of our communal meals was to greet each other with a friendly word and smile. The Mealie Meal Bread was a favorite. I still use it at home to augment stews, soups, and just by itself with Kate’s Butter. I hope you have fun with it and may it contribute to many more happy memories.

Mealie Meal Bread from South Africa: 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ c sugar. 1 Tbsp baking powder, ½ cup melted butter, 1 egg, beaten, 1/1/2 c milk. Pre-heat oven to 375. Grease 9-inch square pan. Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, and baking powder in mixing bowl. Stir in melted butter, egg, and milk. Pour into pan and bake about 25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Linda Kristan