Sunday, December 4, 2011

High Culture, Low Culture

     What an unassuming thing is a simple loaf cake. In my English class, one week we talked a lot about high culture versus low culture. High culture: old French movies, the Louvre, reading Canterbury Tales and schmancy poetry while wearing stilettos and sipping on a glass of wine. (Schmancy is now a word, just saying.) Low culture: the first two Saw movies (yes, I liked them....they make me queasy, they make me want to run away, but I like them), sitcoms and rom-coms, your warmest fuzzy slippers that you always wear even though you mean to get rid of them.

    All this thinking about high and low culture, like thinking about most everything in Me-land, got me thinking about food. High culture calls for macaroons, dainty French pastries, things that look like this. Low culture food? Hamburgers, french fries, banana bread...the comforts of life, the delicious familiarities. Apparently also the American versus the French in Me-land, I am a Euro-snob? I am turning into a total American???? Sigh, let's get out of my head now.

     In class we said that high culture forces you to think, teaches you something new. Yes, trying Pear and Asparagus Pizza (asparagus seems classy) is enlightening to me, I am broadening my eating and cooking horizons. Chocolate chip cookies? Not so much. That's more of a low culture thing. A feel good, I know what I'm getting and BOY does it make me happy kind of a thing.

     So what do I want out of life? I suppose that is the whole problem. Do I want easygoing home food? Or do I want to try fancy (I didn't say schmancy this time!) new things? Pushing the limits is fun, buying artichokes and asparagus and eating aged cheese is thrilling. But, I can't always hit that note. I cannot watch depressing foreign movie everyday, in fact most of the time it takes me forever to get around to watching those at all. Today was a fuzzy slippers and Friends kind of day, obviously, it was a simple loaf cake kind of day.

     And that's what popculture, pop-food - not going to say popcorn because that's just too easy...haha very funny me- is for right? Comfort. Analyze it if you will, but it will always be there for you, just like a warm slice of this delicious bread, studded with dried cranberries, with a hint of lime and sweetness, eaten cuddled up on your couch, a mug of tea in your hand. Or at least, it will be there for you until it is all gone...every last crumb. And then you can bring on the stinky cheeses.
Cranberry Lime Loaf Cake
Adapted (a lot) from

1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Dried Cranberries
1 1/2 tbsp Lime Juice
1 tbsp Honey
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
2/3 cup Milk
1 Egg, Beaten in a separate bowl

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 by 5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Next, stir in the cranberries, beaten egg, lime juice, honey, milk, and vegetable oil. Stir until just mixed, making sure all the flour from the bottom of the bowl is combined, and then scrape into the loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick (or plastic knife) inserted in the center comes out clean. Once done, cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and finally remove onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut and serve!

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