Sunday, May 25, 2008

Southern Style

I am not a Southern girl, but that’s where my roots are, so sometimes I pretend that I am. This was one of those nights where I wanted to be a proper Southern cook and make some good ol’ cornbread and baked beans. I’ve been making cornbread ever since I was a little girl. It’s probably one of the first things I ever made by myself. My mom’s recipe is a little sweet and always moist and delicious. I usually do everything according to the recipe, but this time I used Pam to grease the pie plate instead of shortening, and I had buttermilk on hand for something else (I’ll post on that later) so rather than let a whole gob of buttermilk go to waste I used it instead of “sweet” milk. Now I have never used buttermilk before so the smell was off-putting for me, but the finished product was delicious. I could have let it cook for just a tad longer (a little too moist in the middle) but all in all it was good. It didn’t have the same sweet flavor that it usually has, but it was still yummy. The original wins out, but if I ever need to use up some buttermilk, I know a good strategy. Here’s the recipe:

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
2 eggs
1 cup milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add cornmeal and mix well. Add eggs, milk, and oil. Stir well. Pour batter into a greased 9 inch baking pan (a pie plate works great!) Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-24 minutes.

To accompany the cornbread, I got out my mom’s baked beans recipe, which hardly counts as cooking at all. It’s a can of Pork and Beans mixed with half a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of ketchup. It could not be easier. She usually tosses a couple slices of bacon on top for the baking, but I didn’t have any, and it was fine without it. It bakes for an hour at 350 degrees.

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