Wednesday, November 17, 2010

day seventeen


I am thankful for good food. 
I am thankful for others who share their talents and love for food. 
I am thankful for good books.

This summer I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle

One of the best books I have ever read. Ever. 

The author (Barbara Kingsolver, or Babs as I might call her if we were neighbors), and her family move from Arizona to a small farm in Virginia. For one year they eat ONLY what they can grow themselves (or raise and butcher themselves!), or purchase locally.

This means they adjust their menus seasonally. No strawberries in fall. No squash in spring. No tomatoes in the dead of winter (those things are so crunchy and orange and nasty in the winter anyway). No bananas period, since they are not grown locally.....anywhere in the US.
Everything they eat is in season RIGHT NOW.

When produce is grown right in your own neck of the woods, as opposed to being shipped hundreds of miles, it is a billion times better. Yes, a billion. 

Now living in Salt Lake it's a bit harder to buy locally YEAR round....you know with that whole thing called winter....but this book has really inspired me to eat as seasonably as possible. (although I don't think I can ever give up my bananas....no way) (utah friends--here is a list of Utah's Own products and where to buy)
But I've been doing my best to buy, and to cook only what's in season, and growing right now.

local honey. best when eaten with a spoon.
local honey


I am thankful for my love of baking.
I love taking little bits of nothing, mixing them up, and baking it into something wonderful. 
It never gets old. 
And I love watching my kids excitement as something hot is pulled from the oven.....and that terribly long wait it takes to cool so we can have our first bites. 
pumpkin cornbread

Pumpkin Cornbread
yummy little sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkin are everywhere this time of year, and so easy to roast and add to your favorite recipes!

This cornbread is very lightly sweetened....I like to add sweetness with a bit of butter and gobs of honey. 
Perfect served warm with your favorite chili. 

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. 
Mix wet ingredients in another. 
Slowly combine and stir until just mixed. 

Pour into well greased cast iron skillet and bake at 425° for 13-15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

enjoy!



What are YOU thankful for today?

19 comments:

cara lou said...

I love that book and I love Babs! She's always been one of my favorite authors, and she is one of my heros now, too.

(I can't give up bananas either. But I figure it can be my one "luxury" since 95% of everything else we eat is local)

Kassidi Bridge said...

can't wait to read that book! i finally watched food, inc. so awesome.

Nellie and Jason said...

oh my gosh...for real!? pumpkin cornbread!? Two of my very most favorite things! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Lauren said...

I am thankful for YOU sharing your cornbread recipe! I have never been able to find one that I love. And coming from you (because I know you love food just as much as I do) it MUST be delicious.

Kenny said...

I am definitely thankful for living in California. I never realized other states don't get their CSA produce boxes year round and I was so sad for you the first time you mentioned that. Did you know there are strawberries here that grow in the winter? Not year round, mind you, but we do get winter and spring strawberries and Farmer Tanaka (of our local Tanaka Farms) says the winter ones are his favorite. Who knew? But I digress. I love eating seasonally. I really wonder if there is a purpose to it, too--like whether vegetables that grow in certain seasons have certain nutrients that our bodies need during those seasons. Something to think about! I haven't read that book but it is definitely on my list.

Harris Family said...

I love barbara kingsolver its been at least 5 years since I have read any of her books but one summer I checked out all I could from the library and devoured them.

Love fresh eating- Im cooking thanksgiving and have tried a zillion cranbery and stuffing recipes and Im making like 4 pies- I think I'll need to add the apple cran one too!

Tara said...

It amazes me how you come up with recipe ideas. I would have never ever thought "cornbread" when looking at a pumpkin I need to use. Sounds good though!
Eating what's in season is also the cheapest way to eat! I would never pay $4 for a tub of strawberries when you can get way better ones in the summer for $1.

gram said...

.sheena.. it all sounds like a good idea... though seasonal, fresh produce is hard to come by in Montana ...

melissa marie said...

sheena, my friends and i call her babs, too! i guess after spending a whole year with her and her family we feel entitled to that kind of thing.

i'm glad that even though we can't get fresh local produce year round, there are lots of other local foods here we can have--cheese (well, dairy in general), meat, honey. so that's nice.

jen said...

how funny, i put together a sweet potato bread recipe yesterday and it looks quite similar (not exactly) to your recipe in a very 'great minds think alike' way. kind of weirding me out.

p.s. there's no better way to sweeten cornbread than butter and honey.

Lauren said...

I would plow my way through this cornbread! I love pumpkin anything, and have lately been getting into using it in savory recipes and breads.

Seth Winterton said...

Try utahsown.blogspot.com and read about the indoor farmers market.

Rachelle said...

you read it?? i am so glad. it's such a good book. so inspiring!!

Mindy Coleman said...

thank you for posting this book!
i just requested it from my library. cant WAIT to read it!

Jenn said...

I seriously love pumpkin cornbread!

Teachinfourth said...

I've never heard of this before…I don't know as if I'm brave enough to try it.

gina marie said...

Pumpkin cornbread sounds delicious. I'm going to try to make this recipe vegan :] We'll see what happens.

let there be light said...

I’ve had the recipe saved in my bookmarks for a long time, but I made it for the first time tonight. It’s amazing. So easy and so very tasty, it came out even better than i had hoped. Thank you so much for sharing!

Pamela Joy said...

Hi I Love Barbara Kingsolver too from the first book I read of hers over 20 years ago, 'Bean Trees'. When I read ' Pumpkin Corn Bread ' I thought , why haven't I thought of that!? I love pumpkin and corn bread, what a perfect combo, makes me want to make it today! It is September, even though I do live in south Florida and you know what? Bananas do grow here! LOL so do pineapples and papaya , and Mangos, and all kinds of things I never grow anywhere else ( I grew up in California ) . This is the sub Tropics, and it only has Summer and not summer and there are LEAPING LIZZARDS here! I only thought Little Orphan Annie had those in her mind. LOL and there is cactus here too, naturally. It is a different place here, I would never imagined it. I love your blog.