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simply sunday, and spoonbread

May 29th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

There are those days that beg for nothing at all; you know which ones I mean- vacation days of sand between your toes, gazing over azure water under a floppy hat, or ones spent in crazy fun activity with family, day trips of time on the road, the ribbon of concrete slipping away under your tires while you watch the landscape woosh by you. We’ve had them. We need them.

One recent Sunday was like that. The house emptied out early, before my mind was even fully awake and I sipped coffee, feet tucked under me in a big cozy chair, book in lap and content kitties napping near by. After a few days of record May heat and intense sunshine, the weather gave way to a thick continual mist and wind-whipped trees. I stepped outside briefly to see if it was worthy of even trying to take a walk, and my hair flew around my head, smacking me in the eye like a mischievous pony. Turning back to the patio door, I saw one cat lift it’s head and stare at me, as if to say ‘What ARE you doing out there??’ I really had no answer.

Back inside, another coffee in hand, I was hungry, and craving something with rhubarb but wanting more than a coffee cake, better than a muffin. Serendipitously, I sleepily browsed my blog reader, and suddenly, a gorgeous Rhubarb Spoonbread jumped out at me, thanks to Autumn, of Autumn Makes and Does. I’ve been reading Autumn’s blog for a few months now, and whoa…. you should too. I’m pretty sure it will make you sigh in happiness at least once or twice. We all could use those moments, right? Where we sigh with joy over something delicious?? Yes. Yes, we do.

I managed to haul myself off the chair long enough to pull together the ingredients for this delight, savoring the fact that I’d stocked away baggies full of fresh rhubarb in the freezer, JUST for a moment like this one. {{high five, self!}} And with a few minutes under cold running water, those luscious red cubes were good to go. The oven sparked to life in that affirming way that chases gray, rainy days away; as the pan cooked, the kitchen filled with it’s inviting scent, tickling my already empty belly, teasing in it’s delicious way. That sound, the woosh of flame igniting seems to bring a grounding for me. I waited patiently for the spoon bread, browsing magazines, and the piles of recipes culled from a thousand sources and soon, all I wanted to do was cook.

That may not sound simple at all, but it is, to me. It’s what pulls together all the fibers of who I am that get scattered in my days away from the kitchen. When our food storage containers are stuffed in the drawer and not in the fridge, I feel like something is missing, and with all this inspiration around me, in blogs and websites and magazines, it doesn’t take much to make it all come together. Maybe all I needed was a spoon bread, an empty house with quiet jazz from the speakers and a misty morning of oven humming and hot coffee.

Like Autumn, I’m not sure why I haven’t explored spoon breads more often. Oh, right; Mike doesn’t eat eggs. Ah well, too bad for him. This was a perfect custard-y bread, sweet and tangy at the same time and dug out warm from the pan, drizzled with good maple syrup and eaten, tucked back in to that cozy chair, and more coffee steaming from the table next to me. It was much, much more than I had imagined for my day when I opened my eyes that morning, or as I stood briefly  in the mist outside, thinking maybe it hadn’t been so worth getting up in the first place. But a spoonbread, warm from the oven, set me upright even with the dull low clouds outside.

And this spoon bread, well, it’s perfect for a savory snack, with maple syrup {although a good dousing of heavy cream isn’t bad at all} and of course, it makes an easy dessert, warm, again, and topped with vanilla ice cream, a scoop of yogurt or possibly maple-sweetended mascarpone cheese. Oh sigh, and sigh again {{see? again with the sighing, and so soon!!}} Something simple, on a blustery, misty day never tasted so good, in so many ways.

Rhubarb Spoonbread

Ingredients

  • 6.5 oz (about 2 cups) rhubarb, sliced about 1/4 thick
  • 2.5 oz (1/3 cup) sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
  • 2 T maple syrup (preferably grade B), plus more for drizzling
  • 4.5 oz (1 cup) yellow cornmeal
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 T butter, preferrably unsalted
  • 3 eggs

Cooking Directions

  1. Place chopped rhubarb, maple syrup, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir together and set aside while you gather the remaining ingredients and complete the following steps.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400.
  3. Place the butter in an 8 x 8 inch square pan and put the pan in the pre-heating oven.
  4. Whisk together the cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. Add the eggs, but do not stir, set aside.
  5. Check on the butter. Take it out of the oven when it’s completely melted. Allow the oven to continue preheating.
  6. Now, stir the eggs into the cornmeal mixture and add the buttermilk. Stir briskly until completely combined.
  7. Swirl the butter around the hot pan and pour any excess into the batter. Stir to combine.
  8. Stir the rhubarb sugar mixture into the batter and pour into the buttered 8 x 8 pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles.
  9. Serve warm drizzled with more maple syrup.
Recipe printed in it’s entirety from Autumn, of Autumn Makes and Does. The only thing I did different was bake it in a 4-qt pyrex baking dish.

One Response to “simply sunday, and spoonbread”

  1. Feel like cuting a piece and take bite. :D