How To Make Anadama Bread

How To Make Anadama Bread

A teaspoon of the easy kind of love and a lot of cornmeal
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Do you remember when I used to make Anadama bread that summer? It was best right out of the oven with a little bit of butter on it. It melted in our mouths, sweet and salty all in one bite. How quickly it disappeared off the counter the same day that I baked it made me smile. Little brown crumbs left a trail on the cutting board and my hands were Hansel and Gretel as I picked them up and swept them into the compost. I was always the one that baked it, but I’ll tell you how in case someday you want to make it for yourself.

It started with the neighbors. They told us tales of perfect sandwiches and melted mornings, butter spread across the sunrise to make waking up a little easier. Chasing the perfect slice of bread, I bought cornmeal in bulk because its cheaper that way. 42433. That’s the product number for bulk corn meal, write it on the little white twist tie and take it up to the checkout counter. You’ll want to check the prepared food bar for that corn salad the girl at home likes so much incase you can bring her some and make her day.

I usually used The New York Times recipe but any one will do. You need to start with an easy kind of love and a pot on the stove and you need to burn your hand on the handle so that you feel pain and remember that it’s not going to be this good forever. Next, add the water and the molasses, don’t stop stirring it until it becomes the dirt that forms on the knees of our overalls when we spend too long in the pen with the goats.

At this point you can let it sit and cool, stir it, but not too often, let the dog in from outside and tell him how good he is and how much you love him. Then go and stand by the window and watch the tree outside try to flower in January, some things always try no matter how hard it is. Wish for a moment that all people were like that, then return to your bread. Stir your wet ingredients into your dry ones and don’t forget to add just a tiny bit of nutmeg if you have some.

Pick a bowl the size that you would use if you hats made of kitchen ware were in style. Oil the inside of it lightly and place your bread at the bottom. Cover it with a towel the way you would a child’s eyes in a game of pin the tail on the donkey. Take the bowl over to the wood burning stove and set it next to it to rise. While you’re there take a log from the porch and stoke the fire, remember that this will keep the house warm through the night.

Open the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie book that is sitting on the couch and read for a while. Try to lose yourself in the story, forgetting that a world outside of the pages exist, it is easier that way. When the weight of the pages has worn your fingers down, write. Write about the time that summer when that girl showed you how to drive a manual in her pickup truck. Don’t write for too long though, you need to find two bread pans, roughly the same size. Mine never were, and often I would wrap the smaller of the two loaves in parchment paper and give it to the butter sunrise neighbors. Warm bread is better shared and it made the mornings taste a little sweeter.

Once your dough is in your pans let it rise one more time. Know that it is the last time, and don’t wish for more. Wishes go to waste on things that aren’t meant to be, remind yourself of that as you preheat the oven. Write it on your hand and in your heart so you do not forget and when the oven beeps, put the loaves on the second rack. Let the smell of the bread tell you when its ready, let it fill the house and find its way into your clothing so that next week when you put your sweatshirt on you remember how good it was.

When its ready don't cut it right away. Give it some time. Resist the urge to consume the entire loaf, go back to couch. Open your book and read some more, build a maze that you can get lost in, and wait. Wait for the morning, wait for bulk product number 42433 to go on sale, and wait for your turn to spread butter on the sunrise so that it makes waking up, a little bit easier for everyone else.

Cover Image Credit: Mira Rosenkotz

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How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."
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I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches "New Girl" knows about True American. This crazy, nonsense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in season one, episode 20.

The game, as described by "New Girl" character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

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Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1 to 5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game No. 1: The player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game No. 2: The player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game No. 3: The player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places, or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."


Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.

Congratulations!

You are now able to impress all of your "New Girl"-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly, and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: i.amz.mshcdn.com

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...

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In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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