Tuesday, June 24, 2008

mildly unamusing anecdote

Supper last night was polenta with a sausage and tomato sauce. To add a vegetable Momma stirred in a bag of spinach. All in all it was a very tasty meal, and both the boys ate their share. The Boy did pick his spinach out, and he did only eat a bit over half what we served him, but it was nice that he ate what he did. Big Brother, as usual, disliked nothing about the meal and got himself seconds.

Momma cooked most of the meal. While she was getting the sausage and tomato sauce working I started the polenta. Polenta is easy if a bit of work. We use a version of the Joy recipe, three cups of water on to boil, one cup of water mixed with one cup of corn meal stirred into the boiling water.

The alternative method would be to bring four cups water to a boil and slowly sprinkle in the dry corn meal stirring contstantly to prevent lumps. Lumps in polenta are not entirely impossible to get rid of, but they do became a rather large pain in the ass.

Either version works, but more important to keep in mind is to maintain the merest boil at the lowest heat reasonable. Polenta boils like nothing else I've cooked so far. Before it really has a chance to thicken it tends to boil hugely in that it bubbles big and may just shoot you in the arm with a blast of scalding corn meal. So get the heat turned down quick.

I stirred the polenta for a while then let Momma have a turn before taking it back over so that she could do other things. The polenta finished cooking enough for our taste and got a bit of salt, pepper and some parmesan cheese. A nice spoonful of the polenta topped by a lovely spoonful of sausage, tomato and spinach sauce and finished with a bit more parmesan all went into the bowl.

Momma prepared The Boy's bowl while I fixed a bowl for Big Brother at which point I did the thing. I caught myself wiping a bit of sauce drip off the side of the bowl, much as I would do at work, though not something I usually do at home. It was a mildly humorous moment, but I must admit the bowl of food was beautiful, and the kids deserve great service.