Curtis Dunlap, an information systems administrator at a community college in North Carolina, frequently writes when he’s not on the job. He’s not only a prolific poet, but he writes a cooking column and combines it with his poems that relate to his cooking creations.
Curtis exemplifies a poet who gets the general public interested in his art. All writers would do well to be this imaginative. So many writers tell me they have trouble getting their work noticed by the public. Curtis’ blog shows us that writers, especially poets, don’t live in a shell and can have a broad audience.
Curtis creates a couple of columns a week. He gets really creative with simple, inexpensive cooking ingredients. You’ll see that cooking is another one of his passions, if you follow his column, http://www.frugal poet.com
Below is one of his columns that he’s allowed me to reprint:
Comfort Food – Cornbread
There’s nothing like a bowl of soup or chili on a cold winter day to warm you from the inside out. I’m a chili fanatic. I like veggie chili, chicken chili, chili beans and just plain ordinary chili flavored with ground turkey, beef and/or pork.
I also enjoy a fresh out of the oven slice of cornbread to go with my chili. Requested by my good friend, Howard Lee Kilby, here’s a cornbread recipe that’s super easy to make.
Bacon Buttermilk Cornbread
Fry five or six pieces of bacon, reserve bacon fat.
1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
Combine dry ingredients; add beaten egg and buttermilk, mixing well. Pour into greased (reserved bacon fat) heated 8-inch or 9-inch iron skillet. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
There should be nearly a quarter inch of bacon grease in the bottom of the heated skillet prior to adding the cornbread batter. You can also stir a few other ingredients into the batter. I added chopped bacon, a chopped jalapeno pepper, eight ounces of cream style corn, and a little shredded cheddar cheese to my batter yesterday.
To serve, flip the cornbread out onto a dinner plate, slice and slather with butter. 🙂
Here’s one of my poems that seems appropriate for this post:
I sat with Belle today,
on a blanket,
under a pine tree.
She told me about her new recipe
for cracklin’ cornbread.
My eye lids became heavy,
I could smell cornbread baking;
I grew warm inside.
I asked questions
to prolong her stay,
how much jalapeno did you say?
under a Virginia pine
on that sweet Georgia accent.
The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature – October 2010 edition
I thank Curtis for allowing me to reprint his column. Those of you who want to get started in column writing, can read my book that has been a Writer’s Digest Book Club Featured Selection. It’s “You Can Be A Columnist.”