Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Imperfectly Perfect

Missy and I have been having the most wonderful week, hence the blog neglect! We haven't been doing anything out of the ordinary, just enjoying life's simple pleasures. Like homemade corn muffins with good friends. Sounds simple enough, right? Monday rolled around, and as the sun shone through my kitchen window I glanced over at my calendar. Tuesday morning coffee social. Beating through the cobwebs (exaggeration of course) I reached into the dark crevices of my pantry to see what delectable treat I might be able to whip up without a trip to the grocery store, which coincidentally is closed on Mondays. The base and I are at odds on that one. In my mind, Sunday is for God, Monday is for food shopping, but that's another topic altogether.

Anyway, back to my barren pantry. I had one thing in extreme excess: self-rising cornmeal. My mouth watered a little as I thought of one of my favorite recent recipe finds, cornbread. I'm not normally a fan but this cornbread will win any critic over! As delicious as that cornbread is, it is not exactly a sanctioned breakfast item in my mind. Next best thing? Corn muffins. And so I pulled out the laptop and began my search for one highly rated, award winning corn muffin recipe with minimal ingredients for the it's-time-to-go-food-shopping-baker. Mission accomplished, except I still didn't have quite enough of the few required ingredients. Substituting milk for buttermilk, done, but I only had water... the other problem? This recipe called for real corn in addition to my army supply of cornmeal! There's an item I can guarantee I never stock in my house, whether it be in can, frozen or cob form. I looked at my woefully depleted bag of mixed vegetables wondering just how much corn I could siphon from the green beans, carrots and peas. Exactly 1/2 a cup. After sitting Missy down for a snack so I could sort through the frozen vegetables and pull each kernel out one at a time, I had collected exactly 1/2 cup worth of corn. That made me exactly 1/4 of a cup shy of what the recipe required. I was not about to bring half-a$$ed corn muffins to my breakfast the next morning, so I phoned Rosali. Milk situation, solved. Corn situation... oddly also solved. Apparently I'm not the only household that sees corn as the codependent vegetable. Rosali was more than happy to make a corn donation, but found her freezer stocked with the same vegetable medley as mine. Thankfully Rosali is equally anal and didn't bat an eye at sifting the corn kernels out of the bag. And so, 30 minutes later I was happily headed back home with milk and 1/4 cup of additional corn. The rest of the baking went uneventfully enough, except for high-speed blending the honey butter in a shallow tupperware container. But that is really just a matter or perception. One might see a giant mess in the kitchen of butter splattered and caked onto my counters, cabinets and walls. I choose to see it as remodeling my rental home. Splash of color here and there... and there is always the comfort that in less than two years I will hand the keys back over to the base (or in the short term, that most problems can be solved by a simple phone call to housing maintenance). It takes a lot of stress out of daily life. Faucet leaking? Not my problem. Lost the screws to the door hinge? Not my problem. Missy drew on the wall behind the laundry room door? Not my problem as long as they don't inspect there... and they probably will not. Not to mention housing has extremely lax guidelines, and a very gracious definition of "normal wear and tear".

Well, I'm falling asleep as I type, so I'm going to take that as my cue to sign off! My corn muffins may not have been perfectly made, but they were perfectly delicious! Imperfectly perfect.

Good night!


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