Kenyon’s Johnny Cake corn meal from Kenyon’s Grist Mill in Usquepaugh, Rhode Island. Have you never had johnny cakes? According to Kenyon’s, to make an acceptable Rhode Island Johnny Cake, begin with Stone Ground White Corn Meal. The liquid added to the meal may be hot or cold – water or milk. That’s it – cornmeal mixed with a liquid to form a batter that is then cooked on a griddle so the little cakes become easily handled during travel. In other words, they are named a “Travel Cake” or “Journey Cake.” The colonists’ pronunciation would have been closer to “Jar-ney Cake.” When the “r” sound was dropped with time, the name “Jonnycake” or “Johnny Cake” became popular.
My mother made johnny cakes when we had leftover lamb (once a year), and I was familiar with johnny cakes as a side dish, drizzled with dark, rich lamb gravy. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized a lot of people ate them with butter and maple syrup, like pancakes. Either way, they’re a Rhode Island tradition. Come to this year’s Johnny Cake Festival at Kenyon’s – October 20-21, 2012!
Trader Joe’s cashew butter. The first time I ever tried cashew butter was during my sophomore year of college. I traveled with my roommate to her family’s home in Somerville, New Jersey, and we spent a day in New Hope, Pennsylvania. At the time, we drove past a lot of farmland, and we loved the hippie feel of funky New Hope. We found cashew butter at a local grocery, and I fell in love. It’s fabulous on toast, celery, or your index finger.
A few years ago, we switched from regular milk to soy milk. I wanted something other than cow’s milk and I knew my husband had problems digesting milk. According to some research, almond milk is higher in fat content than soy milk. It’s also much less starchy. Unsweetened almond milk (pictured here) contains 40 calories per cup (soy is about 80). Both are good for you.
I use this unsweetened almond milk as the basis for my morning shake (sorry, I don’t use that “-ie” word). Almond milk, banana, a scoop of Trader Joe’s Super Red Drink Powder (loaded with antioxidants), chia seeds, and a bit of frozen blueberries or frozen pineapple chunks. Super!
I’m not vegan. Some days I wish I were, because I’m keenly aware of the benefits of a plant-based diet. I try instead to live “plant-strong.” But eggs, especially local eggs, are one of the best things you can keep in the refrigerator, in my opinion. We always buy local eggs (remember the jingle “brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh!”? – there it is on the carton). According to the Mayo Clinic, eating four egg yolks or fewer on a weekly basis hasn’t been found to increase your risk of heart disease.
Of course, not everyone likes eggs. Some are positively squeamish at the sight of a soft-boiled egg, pierced and runny. I can’t be without them.