Cornbread always reminds me of little Laura Ingalls and the homestead her Pa built out on the Kansas prairie. Of course, the cornbread they servived on (accompanied with prairie hens, venison and later fresh milk) was a far cry from what we eat today. Cornbread is a staple in most Southerners' diets, but you don't hear too much about it out west these days. Such a pitty; because cornbread is delightful to eat, it adds a hearty accompaniment to soup or a bowl of beans, and makes a filling snack or dessert (with a big cold glass of raw milk.) It's also easy and quick to make, and uses few dishes.
My Grandparents were from West Virginia, Louisiana and Montana, so I grew up with a lot of Southern cooking, a little European and a lot of American-Mexican mixed in. Biscuits were baking powder biscuits, but scones were baked, not fried. I feel like I grew up with a nice balance of down-to-earth comfort and sophisticated tastes and values. I used to be ashamed of my back-hills heritage, but I have found it has its own merits and now I embrace both influences I was reared by with respect. When my grandmother passed away, I was fortunate enough to inherit many cookbooks including two hand-written and a slew of pages and recipe cards.
My son and I were watching a YouTube today by the Hillbilly Kitchen and we watched her make cornbread. My toddler-son became excited when she cut out a slice and said, "cake?! cake!?” I asked him if he would like to try some cornbread and he was a little confused, but excited. I looked up my grandma's recipe and made a few convenient adjustments because I remembered it had a tendency to be a bit dry. I started with one cup of milk kefir but it was still too thick so I added more till it seemed right (it should be about the consistency of a wetter muffin batter.) My little Superman stirred and poured in ingredients. It turned out delicious and we both enjoyed it, but I think I enjoyed it more.. with a big glass of milk, of course, and lots of raw honey and Kerrigold butter. Ahhh, these are the lessons I want to teach my son, if you want something- make it, and appreciate simple, nourishing and delicious foods. This is my recipe:
1 cup whole einkorn flour
1 cup Organic whole Corn Flour
1 tsp baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Butter
1.5 cups Milk Kefir or Buttermilk
3 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
Preheat oven, add butter to a 10" skillet and place in the oven.
Combine dry ingredients, combine wet ingredients in a 2 cup liquid measure starting with the milk kefir.
Mix wet ingredients in with dry just to combine.
Remove melted butter from oven, swish around to coat the sides of the pan and pour remaining butter into batter and mix in.
Pour batter into pan.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.