Party in the USA!

Exploring worldly cuisines

School is back in session and a new course has begun on world cuisines. I’m most excited about this new 12-week course. We’ll be highlighting different countries each week. Not only will we be learning about a variety of dishes but we’ll be educated about the history of the countries, too. I can’t wait!

America the beautiful

This first week, we’re making dishes from my country tis of thee- the United States. We’re highlighting cornbread. Mmm! It’s one of my favorite comfort food.

A history lesson

1This week, we learned that one of the three staple crops of the Native American population is corn. This produced corn pone and hominy, used to make grits. They’re both variations of traditional Native American dishes, which were originally called apones and uskatahomen in Powhatan.

2Corn is referred to as one of the “three sisters.” Her other two siblings are beans and squash. It has been stated that corn was protected from insects and rodents. The beans grew up the cornstalks and prevented the rodents from eating the corn. Lastly, the squash kept the bugs away from the corn.

3When the English arrived on the East Coast in the 17th century, they experienced difficulty growing their staple crops. They immediately recognized that cornmeal could be used for practically everything. They weren’t able to grow wheat, so they began making breads with rye and cornmeal. Hasty pudding, which is a staple of the region similar to Italian polenta, consists of corn ground that is made into a porridge.

Corn is such an abundant crop, especially in my household. My family loves corn. We have corn with our meals several times a week. We can’t get enough of it! It pairs so well with our dishes.

Recipe

  • 5 oz pastry flour, sifted
  • 5 oz cornmeal, sifted
  • 4 oz sugar, sifted
  • ½ oz baking powder, sifted
  • ¼ oz Kosher salt, sifted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 oz whole milk
  • ½ oz honey
  • 3 oz melted vegetable shortening (or melted butter)
  • Non-stick spray
  • Food scale
  • Mixing bowls/cups/spoons for mise en place ingredients
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spatula
  • Fork
  • Sifter
  • Glass pan
  • Toothpicks 

Production steps

  1. Sanitize kitchen (sink, countertops, stovetop/oven, cupboard handles, phone, computer, and recipe books).
  2. Mise en place ingredients.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  4. Sift dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  5. Beat the egg.
  6. Combine wet ingredients in another mixing bowl.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  8. Spray non-stick spray in a glass pan.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the toothpick that is inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cornbread before slicing and serving.
So bright and vibrant!

Reference1,2,3: August Escoffier School of Culinary Arts: Week 1 Lesson, January 2022.

Happy baking!

FS x

Uniting Good ol’ Biscuits and Sausage Together

What a week it’s been in the United States. The changeover of power and new leadership to steer our nation towards unity, tackling climate change, and ceasing this pandemic (just to name a few). It was a sight to watch history being made over and over on Inauguration Day. Lots of tears of joy!

Can I swiftly mention the youngest inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman? She was amazing! She quickly became an overnight sensation. Such a mature, poised, intelligent, humble, articulate, and stylish young woman. She recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” so beautifully and with precision. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz4YuEvJ3y4. I can’t wait to hear more from her. She’s going to move mountains. Madam President Gorman has an exquisite ring to it! 2036, here we come!

This week’s featured ethnic food is American. How fitting to the events that occurred in America several days ago. The highlighted dish is biscuits and sausage gravy (see image). According to an article from CNN, biscuits and sausage make up the top 50 greatest American food dishes: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/american-food-dishes/index.html.

In the fall of 2019, I traveled to visit my dear friend who lives in the Midwest. She took me to a beloved, warm, and hearty mom-and-pop restaurant in her hometown called “The Prairie Dog Cafe.” The food was exceptionally scrumptious and the people who worked there were so delightful. I heard they recently closed last year. I was so sad to hear. However, I was greatly blessed to have dined there.

My dad first introduced me to this savory dish some years ago. He disclosed that he used to eat this in the military. I appreciated that he shared this dish with me. A dish he ate while serving his country. How incredible is that? I’m sure it brought back a lot of memories. I instantly enjoyed it and when I saw biscuits and sausage on the menu at The Prairie Dog Cafe, I had to order it. It was delicious and absolutely filling. The plate was filled with biscuits, sausage, and lots of gravy. It was also served with eggs and hash browns- another CNN top 50 American dish.

I’m inspired to create my own version of “biscuits and sausage” very soon. I’ve got some ideas in mind to make the dish accordingly and adhere to my dietary restrictions. Be on the lookout for a post on my social media platforms in the near future! Also, keep watch for new things happening with Foodnista Soul later this year.

Now, onto the notion of harmony and unification. I believe that with an open heart and mind, we can come together as one. We don’t need to have similar beliefs and values to attain this. God made us all different for a reason. Having said this, we should embody respect and impartiality towards dissimilar viewpoints and opinions; not be judgmental and fault-finding. It doesn’t have to be complicated. We can still connect and create peace despite our differences.

Happy last week of January. Where did this month go?! Golly! Get ready for 2021 to zoom by!

Together,

FS x