Monday, October 17, 2011
My corn wasn't really quite dry yet, but granddaughter Grace was visiting and she was so curious about the corn that I decided to try it out. I was curious myself--could I grind corn meal in my blender? I have a Corona Mill, bought in the 1970's when I last grew Bloody Butcher. It has been packed away in the outbuilding ever since, because I knew I would one day want to grow my own corn for meal again.
Grace and I picked a likely looking ear and shelled off about half of the kernels. I do this by rubbing the kernels hard until they work loose. It wasn't as easy as usual because the corn wasn't completely dry and the kernels held to the cob pretty tightly. But in about 3 or 4 minutes we had enough corn to grind. I dumped it into my blender, Grave pushed "puree" and we watched the corn bounce around. This wasn't going to work...or was it? We saw loose powdery stuff begin to fly around in the blender too. I stopped it and shook the blender jar a few times, and after 5 minutes we had corn meal.
This wasn't perfect meal, however--it was more gritty than what you might buy in the store. We forged ahead anyway. I turned the oven on to 400 degrees to preheat.
I tried to sift it but the meal was damp and that didn't work well so we just dumped all of the meal (about one cup) into a bowl, added a cup of self-rising flour and a tablespoon of baking powder, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 eggs, and a cup of milk. I heated 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a cast iron skillet while Grace beat the batter lightly with a fork, just until all the ingredients were moistened and mixed in (about 50 strokes usually). Then we poured the batter into the hot skillet and put the skillet into the oven.
In about 15 minutes we had a nice, browned pan of cornbread. It looked a little different when we cut it though. Uh-oh. Was this going to be edible? And no, it wasn't THAT purple on the left side--the photo came out very oddly, didn't it?
No photo will upload to show the happy faces eating the cornbread (thanks, Blogger!) but it was gone in less time than it took me to write this post. Tasty, with just a few bigger than expected bits, and an interesting color--it really looked like I'd added blueberries to the mix! The guys topped their pieces with butter and honey. I just added butter to my slice--it was delicious.
When the corn is dry I'll be making more, and we'll see how that turns out. As for the blender? I'm not convinced it's any easier than the grinder and I think the blender would wear out a lot sooner from grinding such hard kernels.