Polenta and the Baby Shower

Posted on | Sunday, September 26, 2010 | 2 Comments

When I lived in Hungary I was introduced to polenta (there it's called puliszka). If pasta is the staple dish of southern Italy, polenta is the staple of northern Italy; it's popular all across Europe. One of my school friends was half Italian and I would go to her house every Saturday and make dishes along side her family with this versatile ingredient. It's a tradition I miss.

Some people around here have said polenta is just "fancy grits" but that's not even touching the surface. Polenta can be used to make breads, parfaits, chilled and fried, turned into a pseudo-casserole, puddings, sweet and savory dishes... I'm making myself hungry writing this.

I hadn't been able to stop thinking about polenta for the past week. I had to have it. It took going to over six different stores to find it but at last I was victorious! Well, kind of. Bob's Red Mill polenta/corn grits isn't exactly what I was going for, but after spending 2+ driving all across town I wasn't about to snub my nose. If this was the closest I could get, I'd take it.

Making polenta is easy enough. I normally follow a 4:1 ratio, four cups of water per cup of polenta. Trust me, this will make PLENTY, I only used half a cup of of polenta and still had leftovers for dinner. Bring the water to a boil and add the polenta, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Keep an eye on it, polenta comes together quickly. You'll have to add some liquid since it'll start to get too thick or dry out. I used cream since I wanted it to be sweet rather than savory, but you can use water or broth depending on the dish. After about 20 minutes you have a blank canvas! I added brown sugar, dried blueberries, pecans, and cream to mine. Kael had brown sugar and blueberries in his. Delicious and incredibly filling.

After our breakfast we went to a baby shower.

It was for Brandy, a former co-worker of mine from when I used to train at Target. I hadn't seen her since she was about eighteen weeks along. She now only has a few weeks left and it shows! It was great to see her and again. Kael helped to set up for the party and we got to catch up while waiting for everyone else to arrive.

Par the course for baby showers, there were silly games that adult women would never play in any other setting. This one was called Guess The Baby Food. I only got two right. Apparently having a kid on solid food makes it challenging to guess what pureed mangoes and blueberries is from looks alone. There was also a Guess What Melted Chocolate Is In The Diaper, which was about as gross as it sounds. Even us seasoned mothers were instinctively gagging a bit as we sniffed diapers filled with melted candy bars and trying to figure out what they were. I decided against pictures of the faux-soiled diapers. You can thank me later.

It was really great to spend time with Brandy and all of my old co-workers (along with some new friends). Most of us have children already so Kael had a bunch of fun playing with new people. We even spent some time outside playing with a couple of frisbees and a strange game that Kael made up which resembled a hybrid of both golf and soccer.


2 Responses to “Polenta and the Baby Shower”

  1. Anonymous
    September 26, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    That's my boy, the next Tiger Beckham!

  2. Barbie Madsen
    September 26, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    ok so I am very familiar with Polenta. I lived in Uruguay for 2 years and it has a huge Italian influence and they eat polenta about everyday! One thing you said is correct it is very filling, but tasty....I'm not quite sure about that. I hated it. But to each their own. On another note, I am so glad you have a blog!!


Photobucket I was born and raised in California. I have also lived in Hungary, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and I will be moving again this summer. Kael is my incredibly awesome kiddo who is growing up far too quickly, and Alex is my fiance who makes me happier than should be legally allowed. I write about them a lot. I'm mildly obsessed with cooking and photography. I write about those things, too.