The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
– An excerpt from To Be of Use, by Marge Piercy
From Circles on the Water (1982), by Alfred A. Knopf
These days, my mind is split into a thousand pieces.
But mostly, it’s divided between half-way sentences that may find their home in my upcoming e-cookbook; recipes that I’d like to experiment with in the weekend; and how I can take this blog to a level far greater than where it’s currently at.
Beyond all the individual thoughts that are fighting for my attention, though, is the unifying theme that is this – I am grasping for work that is real.
Real not in the sense of material compensation (although that certainly enables me to dedicate more resources to it).
No, not at all. I know that working only for the sake of earning money is not a strong-enough long-term motivation. We are humans after all; and by default, the more material things we have, the more we will always want to have.
I’m referring to work that is real in the sense of work that has a lasting and positive effect on the people who are in contact with it.
Everyone has some way of measuring their success, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. What’s yours?
For the last 10 years of my life – I’ve known that I measure my life’s success by how much I positively impact those around me.
I’ve told you in my last post that I’ve finally started working on a draft for a cookbook – and the more I work on it, the more I am convinced that this is “work that is real”.
Work that I am passionate about and come alive doing so.
But more than what creating this cookbook is making me feel, the reason I know I’m doing the right thing is because I know this will do good, much good, for the people who read it.
This cookbook will be one that is used; not just read once and left aside – it will be beneficial and impact those who browse through it and use the recipes that make up the bane of the cookbook.
The more I tell people about the cookbook, the more I re-write lines and edit the draft and take things out or put things in – the more I can feel it deep in my heart and bones that this is work that is real.
I’ll tell you more about the cookbook in the coming weeks – it’s almost here. I’m soooo excited!!
But for now, I’d like to share with you these delicately delicious gluten-free cornbread madeleines.
I’d been craving cornbread – its coarse, grainy texture and its familiar, comforting taste – but I wanted to make them in small individual portions that were easy to eat and make.
The batter is easy to handle and extremely forgiving, and takes on the shape of whatever mold you choose to use exceptionally well.
Go make a batch today!
- 1¼ cup of coarsely-ground cornmeal
- ¾ cup of gluten-free flour blend (I used store-bought, but you can use your own blend)
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1⅓ cup of milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
- 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- Pre-heat oven to 425 deg Fahrenheit (220 deg Celsius)
- Grease a madeleine mold with cooking spray or butter
- In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, gluten-free flour blend, sugar, salt and baking powder
- Whisk in the milk, eggs and better until well-combined
- Fill the cavities of the madeleine mold with the batter, reserving the remaining batter for later.
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a madeleine comes out clean
- Repeat until all batter is used up