I forget what a pleasant, relaxing exercise cooking can be, until I stop long enough to shop for just the right ingredients and try to make something new or something I’ve never made. Or something I haven’t made in a while.
For me, yesterday, the cooking experience felt imbued with my need to provide a nourishing dish that my friend would enjoy eating and which would complement the other dishes at the table. It needed to be vegan also. Little did I know, she’s not much of a fan of corn. For I had chosen to make Ferriday Fresh Fried Vegan Corn from the “Little Miss Cornbread” book. Fortunately for me, I enjoyed making the dish and she enjoyed eating it. It lifted my spirits, cooking and listening to the album “Tapestry” by Carole King.
In addition to acknowledging that she enjoyed the corn, my friend did comment that the “fried” description seemed a bit off the mark. So I explained how the dish is made by frying the corn in the vegan butter before taking it to the “cream” stage. Little did she know, she’d have her own book before night’s end. The occasion? Celebrate her birthday with a small number of friends and her husband at their home. So, of course, I gave her a book, and a Turtle Lake Press mug.
Here’s a photo of the corn frying on the gas stove after the cream has been added. And another of the final dish. I cannot express the satisfaction I received from the whole experience. See, I’m the writer of the stories in the “Little Miss Cornbread” book. My sister, Susie Jane, is the chef. So I’m out of my element when I’m making the recipes sometimes. But the real story is this: When I was growing up, few girls or young women escaped cooking. If you were “a girl,” it was a requirement to learn to cook and to enjoy it (whether you really did or not). At one time, I resented that. Times have changed. That was almost 60 years ago. I’m grateful I can prepare my own food or food for others. And yesterday I was reminded that a well-tended dish created with love and care nourishes the body and the soul, as well as new friendships and old.