Miss Emily showed up time to time in our kitchen in Bishop Georgia but nobody seemed to know she was there but me. She moved whisper quiet in long skirts and mixed up fried hush puppies and corn pone fritters. She pulled my foot out of a hole in the floorboard once and she put a warm compress on my ear when I was crying with an earache. I asked for her frequently but it was chalked up to my vivid imagination at play. Her basic recipe for corn pone was then dropped by small tablespoonfuls into hot lard and fried quick. Below is a picture of the muffins I make with her recipe. I can’t give it to you exactly because I don’t know it exactly..a lot of what we cook is by feel and taste. Fresh buttermilk and yellow cornmeal she called Indian Cornmeal and farm eggs together with salt sugar and some magic. I would give almost anything to see her in my kitchen tomorrow morning washing out the pot for coffee and telling me to go pull some hen’s eggs and a tail feather for luck.
Since Gabriel is used to hearing from me I had to post this family favorite in His honor. Merci beaucoup, Monsieur
1 cup butter
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup white pulverized sugar
8 egg whites ( farm eggs preferred )
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Beat the egg whites until a stiff froth. Add the baking powder to flour and sift 3 times. Sift the sugar 3 times. Beat the butter to cream with the sugar. Gradually add the flour, beating all the while and the extract. Lastly add the whites which must be very stiff. Mix all together and bake in moderately hot oven. About half an hour.
There are so many ways to start a conversation, a relationship, an adventure… I say why not begin with a good Bourbon Cake and a café au lait? It’s appropriate at brunch or at midnight and like all Creole food it sets the tone for the conversation. If you serve a cake with legs like this one has got, you’re fully committed to the experience. No half broke horses and no flavorless cakes for me. All or nothing at all…so let’s make an entrance and leave an impression; so much more interesting and definitively unforgettable.