Monday, December 21, 2009

Corn Muffins & Soup Traditions

 My eighth installment of the '12 Days of Christmas, Food ~ Wine ~ Fun' is all about 'Traditions'...

Yet another ghost came to visit me...The Ghost of Christmas Present!

I found myself once again resting and being reminded of my trip down south to get back in touch with my roots...

"Artwork is a hot cup of soup and a piece of homemade bread on a cool day" said my friend Lisa.

That is exactly what she told me recently as we sat together saying of what to make for our dinner. She and her family live in the Appalachian Mountains, and she will just randomly say something funny, or kind of poetic like if you hang around her long enough. That is why I love her so much. We grew up together, and realized our families were from the same area of the Appalachian Mountains, as well as entering elementary school in the same month of the same school back in Dallas. We both share similar southern traditions.

I could see her standing there in her Virginia mountain farm kitchen stirring a pot of delicious soup on the stove. Her daughters were running about, as I stood there listening to her kitchen wisdom and camera in hand.

I can tell what some of you are thinking...soup again! Well it is my middle name...tis the season!

The Ghost of Christmas Present wanted me to remember to take a moment to enjoy yummy comfort food in between that busy holiday schedule.

Comfort food is a tradition, so what is your memory of a family comfort food?
The menu we chose- Creamy Potato Soup and Jalapeno Corn Muffins. Her and her husband are making their own family tradition of canning jalapenos each summer, and they are hot! Hot, but boy are they good in these corn muffins, along with a little moonshine I brought back (taste like corn...okay, duh?). Making family traditions are a great way to instill strong ties within your children. Cooking, canning, baking, and many other activities can be fun, and a great way to open up communication as the kids grow older!

Lisa decided to add cheese and jalapeno to her corn muffin recipe. Last minute thoughts in cooking happens often right? Although, she blew me away by adding shell pasta to her soup recipe. "Not random", she said. Lisa grew up with her grandmother making it this way. Lisa shared that her grandmother would say "a little extra starch on a cold day cannot hurt", as we laughed and pooched out our bellies. We figured we were good for a few winters to come!

After the Ghost of Christmas Present was done with me, I woke up and had this craving for soup...imagine that!

There is a friend of mine, Tipper @ The Blind Pig & Acorn who writes about  the Appalachian Mountain life and its traditions...her latest post on The Santa Train tells about one of the true meaning of Christmas!

Creamy Potato Soup with Shell Pasta

3 to 4 large boiling potatoes, peeled, rinse, and pat dry
1 cup shell pasta, cooked and drained, al dente
2 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Boil potatoes, just covering with stock; cook until fork tender; drain off excess, and set aside; adding salt/pepper, garlic powder to taste to potatoes. Mash potatoes leaving it rustically un-smooth. Add back in stock, and 1 to 2 cups heavy cream, and bring to a boil until thickens a bit. Remove from fire, and add shell pasta. Enjoy!

Share a family tradition with me, and  Happy Holidays to those of you from hubby and I whom are leaving for your holiday trips!