Monday, February 14, 2011

Grandma's Cornbread

Do you ever go looking through a cookbook for some commonplace item, say, cake, and there is no such recipe. There is some crazy 'birthday cake' that has rum and candied fruit in it, or a lemon cake that contains the entire rind (pith included) of a lemon?
It was at this juncture of my cooking I decided I would pursue not just the unusual, but the ordinary. I don't understand why there are not cookbooks with ordinary, everyday recipes. Those classics that you want to try at home or oatmeal raisin cookies that turn out perfect every time. Whether its roast chicken, brownies, lemon curd, crepes, or homemade pasta, its pretty darn hard to find those recipes. You have such an abundance of variations on those recipes, like lemon-poppy seed crepes with creme fraiche, but no plain crepes.
You get what I'm saying...right? So, this is one of those recipes. The recipes that 'everyone' has...everyone but us. The recipes that the higher food powers have decided 'everyone' already knows how to make...cornbread. There is something so nostalgic and comforting about cornbread. It can be plain, or jazzed up a bit. It suits many meals, and for some reason, it makes people smile when you put it on the table. It is unassuming and simple, yet we love it. With plain butter, or sweet, with chili or bbq chicken, as muffins or squares, it is welcome.
This recipe is my moms, and she got it from her mom. I love it. It is the perfect combination of light and toothsome. It isn't so light you think of cake, nor is it dense. Its just perfect.
Now, of course I changed a few things about the recipe. For one, it calls for powdered milk, which I have noticed pops up quite a bit in recipes from Grandma. I traded the water and powdered milk for milk. It also calls for shortening, which I swapped out for butter. I have something against shortening in baked goods. I just don't like it. You might, but I don't. Softened butter works great, but you could also use melted butter. Of course, I can't leave well enough alone, so I have listed a few variations you might like: you can add 1 cup cheddar cheese by itself, or in addition to canned chilis or bacon, or all three. You could also use bacon grease instead of butter....I know bacon somehow makes its way into most of my posts, but you gotta love the stuff...

Grandmas Cornbread
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter, softened or melted.

Preheat oven to 425. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish or pie dish. Combine ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until there are no lumps. Pour into baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
For muffins, bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Serve warm with lots of butter...

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, Why couldn't you have posted this a few days earlier?!! :D I hate making cornbread from scratch as it always turns out dry and crumbly. I just use whatever recipe is on the package I have. I am definitely going to try this for the next time I make it! ♥T


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