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Friday
Jan282011

Pootsie Bread

Pootsie Bread, nee Cheddar-Corn Spoon Bread
On Tuesday, Pootsie, my roommate John's cat, passed away, after 11 years of being huge and awesome. He was pretty badass, all around, and in the four months or so that I got to know him, I liked him. And I'm not blindly pro-cat -- some are cool and some are smelly. Pootsie was cool.

(He was also HUGE. At least part Maine Coon Cat.)

John's grief and sadness, only amplified by Pootsie's rapid decline, needed fixing. On Tuesday night, a group of friends drank to Pootsie's memory; snowed in as we were on Wednesday afternoon, my reaction was to cook for him.

John's from the south, somewhere in bumblefudge (you can't swear on the Internet; it's in the rulebook) Virginia, and seems to me to be very southerny. Or at least his accent says so, which might not even be that heavy, but what the hell do I know -- I'm from Maine. I think I imagine him growing up wearing overalls and chewing straw, for the love of Pete.

Martha's pic, not mine.
Martha Stewart is always emailing me stuff, and one of the recipe's caught my eye as appropriate for the occasion. Cheddar Corn Spoon Bread, a cheesey, almost pudding-like corn bread seemed like the sort of thing they eat in the South, right? Alright, done with spouting preconceived notions about the great state of Virginia (Sic Semper Tyrannis!) et al.

The recipe, found here, involved bringing butter, corn kernels, corn meal, cayenne pepper, and milk to a boil before stirring in cheddar cheese. After the mixture cooled somewhat, I stirred in egg yolks and folded in egg whites I'd beaten to the point where small peaks started to form. The mixture, which already kinda looked at that point like something I would eat, baked 20-odd minutes in a 375 degree oven. In other words, the whole thing was easy.

I liked the dish a great deal, as did, I believe, John, and so, as I copy it into my recipe book, the dish will go by the title "Pootsie Bread."

John, there's more in the fridge.

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