Thursday, March 02, 2006

Recipe Hour at the Chock

First of all - stormy mountains and the Santa Barbara Mission, which is actually just down (about seven blocks down) from my house. Whilst I don't like the fact that it was built (originally) on the backs of the poor indigenous Chumash indians, it is a lovely-looking building.

So - I gave myself a five and a half year late wedding present - or, let's say, an early six year anniversary present (Note to Self: Anniversary Six, not till June, don't get your knickers in a twist over what to get the Boy Who Has Everything. Yet.), shall we? I find that the Big Number Six's traditional present is "Iron", so the fact that I FINALLY started using my cast iron pans? A nice bit of accidental dovetailing.

The biggest motivation here, of course: Corn Bread. Say it with me: Corrrrrrn Breeaaad Mmmmmm. Not that dry, overly fluffy, have-to-drink-a gallon of water to re-hydrate your mouth crap. Also not the inch-tall, weighs-as-much as the pan, salty stuff that begs for a big of seasoning. No, no.... when I think "Corn Bread" - THIS is what I'm talking about. Check it:

-1/2 cup, minus 2 TBSP. butter
-2 eggs
-1 cup buttermilk
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 cup yellow cornmeal
-1 cup flour
-One ten inch, cast-iron pan*, a whisk and a spatula
*bonus: You only have one dish, from mixing to serving. That is what I'm talking about - what with no dishwasher and all, I appreciate the simple things.
*Preheat oven to 375

1) Melt butter in the cast iron pan over low heat. Remove from heat, add sugar, stir until dissolved.
2) Combine buttermilk and baking soda in a 2-cup measuring cup (so that it has room to "bubble up" somewhat)
3) Add eggs to sugar and butter, stir well.
4) Alternate adding buttermilk, cornmeal and flour, Whisk/stir well; scrape sides of the pan clean, so the edges don't burn.

5) Bake in a PRE-HEATED (not me yelling, the writer of the recipe capitalized this, knowing that I'd be stirring and go, "Meh..who cares if I wipe the edges off?") oven at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

I like it hot from the pan, with butter and honey and served with hot chile or soup, S. requested it for breakfast today, but I'd already given some away and eaten some of it with sausage for breakfast Yesterday. The early bird catches the .... cornbread.

Enjoy! I'd like to package it and send it to some of those Hollywood lollipop girls, that'd fix them right up.

As Aunty Mame once said,
"Life is a banquet, and most suckers are starving!"

Off to go read The Wind in the Willows" to S.

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