Sunday, February 28, 2010

IGA Item of the Week

This morning I woke up about 2 hours earlier than everyone else in the house, except for the poodle, who kept me company while I read the paper. Paging through the Sunday Styles section, I glanced at a profile of Gretchen Rubin, whose book, The Happiness Project, is on the New York Times bestseller list. Basically, she tells readers how to organize themselves, using to-do lists and charts, so they can take pleasure in small everyday moments and appreciate the good things already in their lives. I rolled my eyes before realizing that this blog has turned out to be just such a transforming instrument for me. Thinking and writing about what I buy at the IGA during the last 9 months has, surprisingly, led me to a greater enjoyment of every trip to Main Street and every dinner I cook. After I read the story, I decided to skip my regular breakfast of two slices of Bread Alone Organic Whole Grain Health Loaf (which I still love) and make myself some instant polenta, stocked at the IGA. I loved its bright yellow color against the white bowl, and it smelled so corny, just like The Happiness Project! I allowed myself a moment of regret after I poured some low-fat milk on top. I should have gone for the heavy cream or placed a big pat of butter on top. But then I compensated with some extra maple syrup so it was all good in the end. Here is the recipe (Caramelized Tofu to come tomorrow, as promised):

Instant Breakfast Polenta
Serves 1 to 2

2 ounces Instant polenta
1 cup water
Pinch salt
Heavy cream
Maple syrup

1. Whisk together the polenta, water, and salt in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and piping hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn into bowls (or one bowl, if you are going to eat it all yourself), pour some heavy cream and maple syrup on top, and serve immediately.

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