Posts Tagged ‘corn’

Corn Grits

October 26th, 2011

Grits

The consumption of grits is a long standing tradition of Southern Cuisine.  The culinary ritual of grinding corn  by a stone meal comes to us from the Native Americans and thrives today all over the south and anywhere else that is influenced by regional American cuisine.  Southern food, someone said, is the only uniquely American of foods.

There exists a passionate streak in every southerner when it comes to the proper cooking, holding and consumption of grits.  Every man and woman in the south has at one point or another eaten a bowl full of the milled corn and has an opinion on it.  Salt, butter and time on low heat  suffices for the preparation of this meal.

When people ask me what grits are and their faces remain blank after I have replied  “milled corn” I go on to explain that they are similiar to polenta.  That inevitably receives an “ahh” of recognition and we continue on with the conversation.

Grits at the restaurant come from South Carolina.  I tell folks that Adam polled the confederate states to find out which had the finest product.  South Carolina won.  Every once in a while someone asks us to add cheese to it, and occasionally a variation of cheese grits becomes the bed for some charred, sweat protein appetizer.

The preparation of corn grits is such a fundamental part of our American cuisine and really an extremely economic method of feeding the family that everyone should know how to make them.  It is really quite easy, and if you come check us out at duckspoon.com you can find out how to make corn grits and how to braise a hog shoulder and put yourself a pretty inexpensive but very tasty dinner for the family.

Cheers!

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The beauty of corn: a sustainable kitchen

September 3rd, 2009

Growing up I remember hearing that Americans believe that meat comes wrapped in plastic: that we are divorced from the relationship between the animal and our plate.
I have grown up taking salmon, crabs and other seafood apart in the kitchen, but what a joy there is in actually witnessing a half side of beef being broke down, or a hog, or a lamb. There is an empowerment that comes with understanding the tools that one work with in the kitchen.  This concept is not merely limited to carnivores, as Adam points out during his demonstration for Chef in the Market.  Using the whole product

It seems to me that with a little better information, and with government subsidies focused on local, whole foods instead of soybean and rape seed products, that perhaps we could break the strangle hold that fast food has on this nation’s people.

Happy Cornless Turkey day

November 22nd, 2008

So I just started reading this blog post from goodtimepolitics.com and thought it interesting…

The ripple effect of corn’s being funneled to ethanol production instead of turkey feed has forced at least four huge turkey-processing plants to shut down this year, the government says.

Things will turn bleaker after the holidays, when the industry nationwide will reduce production dramatically, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That’s bad news for U.S. consumers. In 2007, the average American ate 17.5 pounds of turkey, according to the National Turkey Federation.

And this could be the last holiday season for some processors.

Holiday turkeys enjoy a daily feast of corn and soybeans to plump them up just in time for the table. But even soybeans have fallen prey to the push for ethanol.

Soybean production is down in response to demand for corn to make ethanol, which also drives up soybean prices, the USDA says.

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The article goes on to lament President-elect Obama’s ethanol policy in a rather dramatic way.  I do actually agree to some extent, but I think Barack Obama had to concede to subsidized corn to get elected.  I think he understands not only the immorality of using food for fuel when it is unnecessary, but also what a huge waste of resources that could better be allocated.  

Fill in your own enthusiastic plan of getting off petroleum dependancy.

World Food Day

October 17th, 2008

Sure, grain prices finally fell last month.  But the price of diesel remains high and the cost of total inputs is very high.  The world bank predicts that the amount of malnourished people will rise to 44 million this year.  That’s nearly 1 billion hungry people.  And we grow enough food to feed all the hungry Americans out there.

Here in the United States the folks  who are in the lowest quintile of  wage earners pay 37% of household income for food.  In other words, the folks who are struggling to make it face the difficult choice of cheap processed food and more nutritional raw food.

It seems to me that our agricultural policy is fundamentally flawed.  Much of the price hikes in grain stem from the congressional mandate to grow corn for ethanol production.  The creation of ethanol from corn is more expensive than gasoline, but because of government subsidies appears to be cheaper.

Not only are we investing hugely in the creation of inefficient fuel, but we are forcing lower income families to struggle even more to put food on the table.  It interests me that agricultural policy has not been discussed much by either candidate.