I was enjoying a nice drive to my friend’s house last night and admiring all the fall colors when I saw it.
A Christmas tree.
A lit, decorated Christmas tree.
I think we need to step back and re-examine acceptable holiday practices.
1. Store displays: While it is acceptable to shop for Christmas gifts year-round, it is unacceptable for stores to display Christmas- specific items before Halloween.
2. Christmas decorations: Not acceptable until the day after Thanksgiving.
3. Christmas music: Not acceptable until the day after Thanksgiving, preferably not until December 1st.
4. Peppermint and candy canes: Not acceptable until December 1st.
5. Giant blow up lawn ornaments: Never acceptable. Stop. Stop now.
6. Multiple giant blow up lawn ornaments: An arrestable offense.
7. Holidays vs. Christmas: Its ok to say “holidays” when referring to multiple days. Christmas is Christmas. Period.
8. Food: Practicing seasonal recipes is acceptable. Serving Turducken for a Tuesday lunch is not.
I’m not a Grinch.
I just think that you suck all the joy out of the season when you celebrate for months on end.
Christmas is magical because it only comes for a short time each year.
At least it used to.
I think its nice that you want to feel all those warm, Christmas fuzzies, but you’ll be immune to them by December if you start celebrating the day after Halloween.
It is however, a great time to start dusting off your Thanksgiving recipes and planning your Turkey Day feast.
I have a super delicious, extra moist cornbread recipe that I have used for the past three years.
It’s delicious because it has 1/2 cup butter, a whole cup of full-fat sour cream, eggs, cream-style and canned corn.
There must be a way to make a lighter version of this while still preserving all of the flavor.
I omitted the butter and eggs and subbed plain-low fat yogurt for the sour cream.
It has all the moisture and flavor of the original recipe.
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 teaspoon salt
1 can (14,75 oz.) cream-style corn
1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Tidbit: The cider vinegar replaces the eggs and works with the baking soda and yogurt to help the bread rise.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine cream-style corn, yogurt, honey, oil, and vinegar. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Pour immediately into cast-iron skillet or into an 8 x8 inch baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until top is browned and tooth-pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Makes 8 servings
The whole grains and other healthy ingredients in this cornbread make it totally acceptable as a breakfast food.
Serve with Maple Cranberry Jam
Maple Cranberry Jam
1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2-1 cup pure maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like your jam)
Tidbit: Make sure you are using real maple syrup! Pancake syrup like Aunt Jemima is usually made from corn syrup. If cost is a consideration, go ahead and use honey or your favorite sweetener.
Add cranberries and orange juice to small saucepan and cook over low to medium heat with the lid on until cranberries start to break down. Add maple syrup and stir until consistency of jam. Jam will continue to thicken when cooled.