Monday, November 22, 2010

Cornbread

Every time I plan to make cornbread, I think, "I'll take photos and put the recipe on my blog." And I never remember. That's because if I'm making cornbread I am mixing it up the last thing before dinner and I'm kind of in a rush because everything is coming ready at once and I need to set the table and people are in the kitchen talking to me and then it's dinnertime and then...the cornbread is all gone.

So. Here's the recipe without pictures. Maybe one day I'll remember and take some. Isn't it sad? It's such a simple thing to make too, you'd think I'd remember to grab the camera, wouldn't you? (One of my sons asked me how I made it last night, and I gave him my usual" "Well, about a cup of this, and some of that..." but really I do know the exact amounts, I just sort of play around the edges of them because I don't like measuring.)

Basic Cornbread

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. (Yes, it's hot!)

Measure into a large mixing bowl:
1 cup self-rising flour (you can use regular flour too, just double the backing powder and salt below and use one cup of plain flour in place of the self-rising flour)
1 cup corn meal (yellow or white, doesn't matter which)
1 tablespoon baking powder (yes, even though the flour is self-rising, you need this because the corn meal also needs something to make it rise)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (you can leave this out if you prefer; I like a little sweetness in mine)

1 or 2 eggs, beaten (I never beat them first because I'm always in a hurry, but it's probably a good idea)
1 cup milk (or buttermilk or apple cider--all work well)
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the egg and milk and mix in with a fork until all is just blended and all the dry ingredients are mixed in--about 50 strokes.

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet (10-inch) or 9" square baking pan. Heat on top of the stove until the oil is hot. OR grease cornstick or muffin pans and heat the pans in the oven until the oil is hot. Pour the batter into the hot pans. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until the cornbread is lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

That's it! Easier than biscuits, even, and not nearly as messy to make. I bought a 5-pound bag of corn meal at Jackson's Mill where they grind it, and used it for the first time last night. The meal is coarser than what you get at the store, but much more flavorful and the cornbread was perfect. Which is why it was all gone before I could take any pictures. Again.

You can add to this recipe, of course. Try bacon and dill, for example. Some people add onions, others add peppers, and I bet there's a whole list of other things you can add. Seems like I read somewhere that someone added grated cheese? I like mine plain the best, though, with honey butter or apple butter for a topping. It's like eating dessert with your meal. If you make cornbread, do you add anything different to yours? 

I have a 12" skillet I like to use when we have more people here, and then I add another 1/2 of the ingredients to the recipe, so the recipe is 1 1/2 times this one. Make sense?

15 comments:

Country Whispers said...

Sounds yummy!

Another good dish to make with fresh ground (course) corn is corn cakes. Yumm-0.

Nance said...

makes sense . . . and smells good! I miss my Mama's cornbread!

Granny Sue said...

OK, Jessica--now you have to tell me how to make corncakes because I have never had them. Do tell!

It smells heavenly, Nance. I bet your mother knew how to make it right, too.

Janet, said...

That is just about how I make mine, except I don't add sugar. I don't like sugar in mine. I melt butter in the pan instead of oil. Then I pour some of the melted butter in the cornbread mix and stir it in. I also use self rising flour. There's nothing better than a piece of cornbread with butter spread in the middle.

Granny Sue said...

Janet, Larry always says with surprise that "some people add sugar to it!" and each time I tell him, "I put a little sugar in it." He remembers a school cook who made it so sweet it was like cake. I don't like that, but I do like a little sugar--or honey--in mine. That's the way I learned to make it from my neighbor.

Farmchick said...

I do put a little sugar in mine. My Grannie made the cornbread with the white corn meal when I was a kid. Never did come to like it. I like the yellow version...with a little sugar.

Granny Sue said...

Me too, Farmchick! Yellow cornmeal just looks right to me. I never did like the white version but I know many people who will only use it.

Steve Ferendo said...

I prefer it not sweet. My mother always made it and dried beans when we had racoon. She could really cook! Thanks for the receipe.

Nance said...

Steve, I never had the racoon! Mama served cornbread, usually, with ham and beans. I've probably missed out on a lot in my life time. lol My Mama never "sugared" her corn bread but she did make it right, Sue, heating the LARD in the cast iron pan and using the yellow coarse corn meal. oh, for the good ol' days.

Angel said...

Sounds easy and totally yummy! I'll have to try this soon. I'm thinking that bacon grease, in place of the oil, would add a yummy layer.

Granny Sue said...

Bacon grease or lard--both would make it taste wonderful! Steve, I've never had raccoon either--what does it taste like? I bet it's not chicken!

I'm going to make mine without the sugar and see if I like it that way. The corn meal is sweet anyway with natural sugars so it might not make much difference.

Steve Ferendo said...

Racoon is a dark meat not all that different from bear or groundhog. I wish I had a receipe for you. I left home 42 years ago but I do remember that my mother parboiled or pressured cooked it until tender and then put it in a roasting pan and shoved it in the overn. It was one of my favorite wild meats.

Granny Sue said...

My husband remembers raccoon roast, Steve. He thinks they kept the raccoon for a few weeks to "clean it out." Maybe some other reader can remind us how to prepare raccoon.

Nance said...

ah, shoot! come on . . . I've not had bear or groundhog either , Steve. You, Sue? I've not had squirrel either. I've eaten deer and I've had rabbit . . . that's about it. oh Steve, BTW, do you live in Alaska or points north?

Granny Sue said...

Squirrel and bear, yes. But no groundhog, raccoon, or possum!

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