Even though I go to bed at a reasonable hour, normally 9:00 P.M. and rarely latter then 10:00, I’ve been waking up at 3:45 or so recently. I try to get back to sleep, sometimes with success, however this morning it was not the case. My cat, Pixie, likes the company and an early breakfast for her, but I’m not a happy camper when sleep is short changed. At any rate, I got busy cleaning the galley up, which meant doing a couple of day’s dishes, sweeping up and tossing junk mail that has been stacking up. This morning, however, I also made cornbread. The usual blend of corn meal, all purpose flour, egg, milk, oil, salt, and baking powder, but I use Date Sugar instead of regular sugar in my mix. I find that the richer flavor is more to my liking. I get it from Shields Date Garden (http://www.shieldsdategarden.com/p-38-shields-date-sugar.aspx
) in California. It is a bit pricy, however I don’t use a lot of sugar because I’m diabetic, so the investment in this rather unique sweetener makes the occasional culinary transgression worth it. My first experience with Shields Date Garden was when I was a kid. My family used to go camping out at the Salton Sea (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=639
) and we would pass through Indio, California on the way. Back then there were these bill boards along the highway advertizing the “sex life of the date palm” which to a young boy sounded intriguing to say the least. At any rate we would stop and my Mom would buy Date Sugar, crystals, and dates which would go into banana date bread and other goodies. Besides being extraordinarily favorable the date sugar has a bit of early childhood nostalgia mixed in as well. Which I suspect adds something to the whole gastronomic experience. A glass of cold milk, a large slice of warm cornbread with butter and my cat on my lap; nice way to start my weekend, don’t you agree?