...And the rain goes on! It must be fall in Corrientes, just as I hear the yips of glee from those back in the States who after months of hearing their 'rain again' moans I can finally identify. Rain here is not Seattle rain- here it RAINS. Thunder rumbles, lighting crashes, the top of the water tank perched atop our building clatters down 3 stories to the ground below with enough force to scare people all the way in Paraguay out of there skin*,The streets fill with water, and the bugs come out to play. Santiago just yawns in the morning when a heart-stopping thunder clap wakes and and sends me scurrying off to the balcony where my freshly laundered unmentionables hang, soaked through from the downpour. Welcome to the tropics, honey.
But honestly, it's not so bad!
Besides making a Seattle-Native feel at ease, rain gives me a fabulous excuse to sit around and knit with a little Nat King Cole. Knit and cook that is, and with Santi gone in the morning to his medical classes and operating on some lucky pigs* in the evening I have been spending my days slowing transforming into a nouveau Martha Stewart.
Knitting has also has given me a large opportunity to improve my Spanish. Language, dear reader, is a funny thing. Get me talking about food and I can breeze on like a native for hours, but mention the word aguja (needle) and my level drops to that of a slow one-and-a-half year old. Funny, you would think that all of those years of Spanish at the UW would have prepared me for the important stuff in life, but I guess my idea of important doesn't always jive with that of others.
Now what exactly does one cook to confirm their newly emerging status of rain-enclosed, woolly knitting, homemaker? But of course! Cornbread.
This recipe is a twist on an ex-coworker (from the Puget Sound Business Journal)'s recipe, Brian I hope if you read this you won't sue me for posting your recipe, and you won't hate me forever for changing a wonderful recipe just a tad. This version is noticeably sweeter than your slandered type cornbread, and served with a dollop of whipped brown-sugar butter it gets knocked straight into the realm of desert. But if you serve it with dinner I promise I won't tell...
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup of milk
This is insanely easy: mix your dry ingredients, mix your wet ones, then add the two together! (tricky hmm?) Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and leave it for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean when you insert it in the middle. If you are not into the sweet just swap the 3/4 cup of sugar out for 1/4.
Brown Sugar Butter:
Partly because it is expensive and complicated to get your hands on a bottle of maple syrup here in Argentina and partly because it is just good, I made this whipped butter with brown sugar.
2 cubes butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
Melt the butter and sugar on low heat in a saucepan, once the sugar has dissolved place the whole liquidy butter in a bowl and put it in the fridge until it is soft but solid. Whip to the consistency desired. Eat on your cornbread! You can also try this with honey or maple syrup- though you will want to add a little less.
*Paraguay is about 2 hours by car from where I am, for a little map click here.
*better pigs to learn on than me I suppose...