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Slightly Different Ingredients, Same Good Food

We have had trouble with the American box mixes. Perhaps I have been overseas too long. I actually thought that we could come back and use the American box mixes, make life easier, and everything would be fine, but that is not the case. After we ate cheesecake from a mix, I got sick. After we ate tacos from a box mix, I got sick. My daughter has been bothered slightly, but not as bad as I have. My stomach has grown unaccustomed to American food from box mixes, and even some of the restaurant food has made me sick. I think my daughter’s stomach will adapt better than mine. I am reminded of when I made roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy, and made a group of Nigerian missionaries sick when I thought they would love what I was serving them. I felt so bad about giving them food that made them sick. The fact is, our stomachs adapt to the food we eat everyday, and if we change and begin eating a different kind of food, our stomachs have a tendency to rebel. It is like someone who goes on a diet, and then tired to eat something sweet, and the sweet food makes them want to vomit, and sometimes they do. Our solution is to look for basic ingredients and go back to making everything homemade like we did before, but sometimes those basic ingredients are hard to find. However, we have found them, and we are making everything homemade like usual and doing just fine. Basic and homemade is always better.

While we were trying to set up house, we found a cute little crock pot for almost nothing. I insisted on buying it, and my daughter didn’t understand it. I never had a crock pot overseas, and she not only has never used one, but hadn’t seen me use one. We wanted to make corn bread and beans. We searched and searched for just plain corm meal, but it is hard to get just plain corn meal. We went to several stores and only found box mixes. We saw something at Wal-Mart that was an import from Mexico, and I thought it was corn meal, so we bought it.

Mexican cornmeal

In case you can find cornmeal, I will give you my cornbread recipe. Eating things that are basic are much better for you than eating those box mixes. A friend left Korea who bought box mixes on the base, and he gave us his box mixes he hadn’t used before he left. It all tasted like chemicals to us.

Cornbread Recipe:

2 cups of yellow corn meal

2 cups of flour

1/2 cup of sugar

8 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup melted butter or cooking oil

I combined the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. I added everything else and mixed it all together.. It doesn’t turn out like a cake batter. It is a stiff batter.Grease and flour the pan like you are going to bake a cake. Cook it at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes. If you insert a fork in the middle, it will come out clean. The batter is not like a cake batter. It is a thick batter. Use a 9 X13 baking pan. Grease it and flour it like you would if you were baking a cake. Bake it at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-35 minutes. When you insert a fork in the middle, it will come out clean. If you are using Celsius, you can look back through my blogs because there is a blog that tells you how to change Fahrenheit to Celsius. I actually cut the recipe in half and used a small cake pan to make ours because right now, there are only two of us, and we don’t eat much.

The corn bread

We actually ate about half the corn bread because it was just as good as it was before using ingredients we bought in import shops in Korea.

As for the beans, we used pinto beans. Pinto beans were really hard to find in Korea. Occasionally, we found some. Occasionally, we could get kidney beans and substituted them, but we are in Oklahoma now where people eat pinto beans. The beans weren’t hard to find at all.

I put the pinto beans in the crock pot to soak overnight, and we got up, I turned the crock pot on low before we left, and went to church, then the church picnic, and then my daughter’s job interview that was late Sunday afternoon when she got the job. Since my daughter had never seen a crock pot work, she worried and worried about the beans. She wondered if we should leave it cooking while we were out, but I assured her that I had used a crock pot many times, and it was made to cook while you were away. I told her that people get up, prepare dinner, put it in the crock pot while they go to work to cook all day, and when they get home in the evening, supper is ready.It really bothered her, but she learned it was okay.

When it was time for dinner, our beans were nice and soft. I had bacon grease I had saved from when I cooked bacon, and I used it to flavor the beans and I salted them. My daughter was amazed at how easy it was to cook the beans because she remembered me always struggling with trying not to cook all the water out of the beans and having to cook them for so many hours on top of the stove in Korea. We enjoyed our beans and corn bread. We weren’t quite done with those beans, and you can read about that in my next bog because I am making things homemade here even though there are box mixes because the homemade stuff is just better, and we feel good after I cook. .

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