When I watch the movie Food, Inc. and see how the number of slaughterhouses in the US has dwindled from thousands to just thirteen and how the animals are squashed together knee deep in their own manure, I feel tiny. I feel tiny, I feel trapped, but I also feel empowered.
Every time I buy from a farmer's market, every time I stop and take a moment to think about my food purchases, every time I think about what I am about to put in my mouth, I feel empowered. By simply purchasing from a local farmer, I am giving a vote for a hypothetically safer, healthier, greener world.
We are thrown such mixed messages about the food we eat, and we have become so detached from where are food comes from. We have skewed our food system to the "bad" calories. The chips and candies are less expensive than the broccoli and the carrots. Why oh why are we so addicted to refined carbohydrates and added sugars?! Because they are cheap, they are subsidized, they taste good, and that good taste is addicting.
I sit here, frustrated and confused. When I think about all that I do related to food, I feel so proud and excited for the people I see cooking together, eating together, learning together. Yet, sometimes I still feel so tiny and so helpless.
I praise those who work in hospitals and schools and businesses and farms who feed thousands of people every day.
I need something that will soothe my soul today. A warm bowl of soft polenta--creamy and smooth with that slight bite of crunch from the corn. With a sprinkle of good cheese, I feel a little better. I feel a little bigger than tiny. I can sit here with my big warm bowl of soft polenta and be content. Content for the few minutes it takes to gobble this grain down.
Now go soothe your soul with a big warm bowl of the good stuff.
1 cup polenta
3 cups cold water
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place 1 cup of dried polenta in a medium sized bowl. Top with one cup cold water. Set aside.
In a medium sized sauce pan bring 2 cups of whole milk and remaining 2 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add salt. Slowly whisk the polenta and water mixture into the boiling milk mixture. Turn flame down to medium low. The time the polenta takes to cook will depend on weather you’re using fine grain or course polenta. My polenta took just minutes to thicken. However long it takes, stir occasionally until you’re reached a desired thickness.
Turn of flame and add grated parmesan cheese. Stir to incorporate.
***NOTE: You can make a sweet version of this polenta, just omit the cheese and give the grain a splash of vanilla (or use a vanilla bean!), a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a bit o' brown suga'