Another Trip Down Memory Lane... Chores and Duties...
I usually try to make a well-balanced and fairly attractive meal for supper. Sometimes I just don't feel inspired though, and tonight was one of those times. I ended up fixing chili, cornbread, and sliced cucumbers. (Wow -- lots of "c" words there.)
As I was stirring up the cornbread, I realized that I've been baking cornbread for 45 years or more. I've probably baked over a thousand pans of it. (Mental math done while stirring suggests this is a reasonable estimate.)
Cornbread was one of the first things that I ever learned to bake. Mama always told me how good my cornbread was. I don't know if she was telling the truth or if she said that to keep me interested in baking. However, I did have a secret ingredient that I always added -- 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Whenever we had cornbread, Mama heated a pan of milk. You could crumble a piece of corn bread into a cereal bowl, sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper, and pour a little hot milk over it. I liked it with just enough milk to soak the corn bread, but not to fill the bowl. I haven't eaten it that way for many years.
When we lived in Bolivia, the little Indian lady who did our laundry often told me, "Oh, Señora! Your cornbread is just like cake!" Dennis and I laughed about that because she had previously worked for an American named Steve. Steve was (in)famous for his cornbread and proud that he never used a recipe. We had tasted Steve's cornbread at a potluck dinner. It was a gummy, baked, cornmeal mush -- apparently made without baking powder.
If we have soup, Dennis always wants cornbread with it. He crumbles it over his bowl and it becomes one with the soup. Isaac, Keely and I all agree that we don't want to waste our cornbread or ruin our soup that way. We'll just have butter and maybe a little jelly or honey on ours, thank you.
When I was a little girl, I used the cornbread recipe on the back of the Quaker Cornmeal box. In about 1972, I bought a Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and ever since, I've used its recipe for cornbread. Here the Fannie Farmer recipe, doubled as I usually make it:
1-1/2 cups corn meal
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar (or Splenda)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/4 cup canola oil
Spoon into two 8x8" baking pans. Bake about 20 minutes at 350°. Or bake in a 9x13" pan for 25-30 minutes or until bread tests done.