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March 2018



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Dinner and a Movie: Polenta and Avatar

I made most of the dinner this time. When we ate at FineLine K had mentioned that she had never had Polenta before. I love polenta so I wanted to make some for her. I made Polenta Parmesan: two cups of corn meal, cooked and poured into a 9"x13" pan, tomato sauce, Parmesan, and Mozzarella. K liked the Polenta, after she scraped off the tomato sauce and cheese. I also made White Bean Hummus and my Honey Mustard Curry Dip. There was still left over Coconut cake for dessert. Kevin brought vegetables for dipping and salad. B bought pitas and chocolate ice cream (he really doesn't like coconut). Everyone liked the food so I feel it was a success.

We had a lively dinner table conversation. And kept asking B to verify things on the internet on his iPhone (much to K's annoyance).

The Law is an Ass: Reading E.P. Evans' The Medieval Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals

The word blackmail "is derived from the word for tribute (in modern terms, protection money) paid by English and Scottish border dwellers to Border Reivers known also as Free-booters, in return for immunity from raids and other harassment. This tribute was paid in goods or labour (reditus nigri, or "blackmail"): the opposite is blanche firmes or reditus albi, or "white rent" (denoting payment by silver)."

Kevin brought a small remote control helicopter which he and Bu played with until it hit the ceiling and crashed. It was cute, like a dragonfly, hovering and zipping around.

After dinner we watched the two part story in Avatar about the "Siege of the North".


Do you use regular cornmeal for your polenta, or do you use the actual polenta meal?
Just plain old Quaker yellow corn meal. As it turns out B makes polenta for K frequently. He uses white corn meal and calls it "grits".
See, I always thought that would work (and be less expensive). I've never made polenta, although I love it. I pretty much love anything made with corn meal, though.

Do you have to make any adjustments in recipes when you use regular cornmeal, or are the proportions about the same? Less liquid?
Polenta is corn meal. There may be differences in the size of the grind, but it's effectively corn meal. The Wikipedia page implies that grind size is also somewhat of a regional think in Italy, so using a package labeled "corn meal" instead of "polenta" will probably save you a couple of bucks and can be justified as within the range of what's called polenta.

Zahde is a bit incorrect when she says I use "white corn meal". I really use coarse-ground hominy, which is corn that's been treated with an alkali like lie or lime. The alkali treatment makes the corn easier to digest and frees up the niacin in the corn.
Now you are just being pedantic. You made a big deal about how you used a particuar product and it was Quaker White Corn Meal
I'll admit to pedanticism, and I'll admit to claiming to use a particular product, but it was Quaker Quick Grits, not white corn meal.
Thanks! I wondered if the coaser grind of cornmeal made it different from polenta. Grits or white cornmeal is an idea, but I like the flavor of yellow cornmeal.
I follow the instructions for "corn meal mush" on the package. Well, actually, I find it easier to remember the instruction as I got them off a bag of government cornmeal years ago when the government still gave out surplus food to the poor.

It was
3 cups hot water
1 cup corn meal
1 cup cold water
1 tsp salt
I don't think that's quite correct. I don't make polenta for K frequently. She prefers cream of rice over polenta/grits. I also don't really make it for me "frequently". I probably make it 4-5 times a year.

I also don't tend to let it set up, rather choosing to eat it while it is still mush. A thick mush, but still a mush.
But that is still more often than "never", which is how often she said she had polenta.

It's still polenta when it's hot mush.
I posted the recipe for the polenta parm and the coconut cake over on sistersrecipes
Thanks! I'll check it out.