Last night we fixed supper for our church youth group: spicy lentil chili, broccoli cornbread, tossed salad, grapes and clementines, banana cake with caramel icing. It was some work but a lot of fun, unexpectedly so.
As they finished their spring breaks, these teens were full o’ beans (even before the chili). They were also happy, enthusiastic and appreciative. They talk to old people! I think only one or two found the chili too spicy. One little cutie came out to the kitchen and put extra shredded cheese on hers to tame the heat. It made her pink cheeks even pinker than usual!
I like the feeling of caring for/about children who are not “mine.” Maybe it improves someone’s day; maybe they won’t think about this night until they’re old people. But it seems a very satisfying investment — low input, relatively speaking, and high yield — in a better world.
The cornbread comes from our most recent church cookbook. I’ve never forgotten the onion before, but this time I did. And even though I’m a certified onion lover, I preferred this cornbread without it. It’s so good, I got up this morning and had some for breakfast rather than the two little pieces of cake that Stoic the Vast was not supposed to leave behind.
Donna J’s broccoli cornbread
10 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, thawed (don’t bother cooking before adding to cornbread)
1 onion, chopped (see above)
4 room-temperature eggs
6 ounces cottage cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted unsalted butter
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
1 package Jiffy corn bread mix
Heat oven to 375°. Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Combine all ingredients, pour into pan and let it “lift” for 5 minutes before baking for 25. You can double or triple this recipe but it doesn’t keep especially well.