This week, my challenge to you is simple: let it go.
What do I mean? What is it? Well, that depends. For me, it right now is something that’s been on my mind for more than a week…something that got me quite fired up in emails and on the phone with friends…something that even kept me up at night a few times.
But you know what? This it wasn’t worth any of my time/energy in the first place. So I am letting it go.
How about you? Is there something you are stewing over that isn’t worth your time and energy? Something you can’t change or control no matter how much you dwell on it? I suggest you let it go.
Don’t have any emotional baggage to dump right now? How nice for you! How about you clean out your pantry, then? Or your refrigerator? What about your clothes closet? We’ve all got things we don’t need…clutter in our minds, homes, cars, etc…stuff we can let go.
Along with letting go of what I’ve been dwelling on lately, I spent some time this week taking stock of what was in my pantry and my refrigerator. I tossed everything that was past it’s prime, along with, ahem, a few unhealthy items that had found their way into my house. The result was a cleaner, more organized kitchen, of course, and I also found a few things I didn’t even know I had…like a package of organic medjool dates.
With those dates in hand, I recalled a recipe I’d seen from Molly O’Neill in the The New York Times archives: I was really quite intrigued by the idea of adding dates and rosemary to cornbread (the bacon sounded great, too, but I decided to leave it out).
I changed up the recipe a bit, and decided to make it in my cast-iron skillet (a technique I learned from Deborah Madison’s The Savory Way). I was very pleased with the results, and I think it would be just perfect with a bowl of this black bean chili on Superbowl Sunday or on any day, really.
Recipe for Skillet Cornbread with Dates and Rosemary
Yield: serves 8-10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
This recipe is pretty versatile: add a bit more rosemary and cayenne if you like, or leave out one or the other. I found the taste of the dates to be subtle; their natural sweetness plays nicely with the maple syrup, but if you don't have any, they can be omitted.
*1 cup organic cornmeal
*3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
*3/4 teaspoon sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
*1 cup buttermilk
*2 eggs, preferably organic and free-range
*1/2 cup pitted and chopped organic dates
*4 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or honey)
*2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda, rosemary, sea salt, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Stir together with a fork.
3. In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, eggs, dates, and maple syrup.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon until combined.
5. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over low-medium heat. Add butter to the skillet and allow it to melt (but not brown). Tilt the pan so the entire bottom and the sides of the skillet are covered with the butter. Pour the batter into the skillet.
6. Place skillet in preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are starting to brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Serve slices warm...they're delicious when spread with just a little more butter.
So what do you think? Are you “in” to this week’s One Simple Change? Ready to let go of one piece of emotional baggage? If not, how about cleaning out your pantry? Take the opportunity to toss out any processed foods and unhealthy oils. Take stock of items you may have hidden away: can you put them to use? Or should you let them go? If you have time, do the same with your refrigerator. Then move on to your clothes closets. There’s no point in keeping things around you never wear: it’s better to give them away to someone who might actually be able to use them.
I love the feeling of getting rid of clutter in my mind and in my home. If you are comfortable sharing what you are letting go of, please do. I love hearing about how One Simple Change is making a difference in your life :)