Anadama Bread

In many ancient cultures, the late summer marked the first harvest, and was often celebrated with festivities involving grain–and especially corn. So, in keeping with that tradition, making this delicious bread has become one of my personal summertime rituals.

Strange Name, Delicious Bread

And about the name…kind of strange, right? I’ve heard slightly different versions of its origin, but the basic story goes something like this:

Many years ago, there was a hardworking fisherman. Every day he went out on his boat and stayed for hours, trying to get the biggest catch he could. And every night, when he finally dragged himself back to his modest cottage, he was famished. Unfortunately, his wife Anna was very lazy and often there was no dinner waiting for him.

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Celebrate a Personal Summertime Ritual

"Rituals" by Dr. B K Guha

Rituals fill deep human needs and provide opportunities to express many emotions. Rituals can convey religious devotion…or they may express gratitude for the pleasures of life. Rituals can also help us through difficult times, providing an outlet for pain and grief.

There are rituals that are shared by members of various religious groups, among the people in a society or culture (the summertime corn-on-the-cob ritual we talked about earlier is one small example). And there are rituals within families. But we all need our own personal rituals as well.

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“Corny” Rituals Stand the Test of Time

I’m as corny as Kansas in August…

Lyrics from “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy”

from the musical South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein

It’s a favorite summertime ritual—steaming ears of sweet corn slathered with butter. Corn–or elote–is a popular treat in Mexico, too. And there the ritual is even more elaborate, involving your choice of toppings such as mayonnaise, chile powder, cotija cheese, and maybe a squeeze of lime. Here’s a recipe for the Mexican version of this tasty treat.

I suppose it’s fitting that the whole corn-on-the-cob ritual in Mexico should be more evolved than in the U.S. After all, they’ve been doing it a lot longer.

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