cornbread

This morning I woke up and I didn’t want oatmeal for breakfast.

It was incredibly traumatic for me.

I had a hankering for my favorite comfort food of all time.

I’ve talked about it before, but that was way back in November, so you probably don’t remember it.

I am talking about cornbread. I woke up with a desperate need for cornbread.

The big problem I was having with this craving was that I was out of Jiffy Mix. As I previously explained, I’ve grown up on Jiffy Mix. I love Jiffy Mix. There are many processed, packaged food items that I have given up over the last few years. Mostly because things made from scratch are generally better. Except when it comes to cornbread. Every single time I try someone else’s cornbread, I get depressed. It doesn’t taste right. It doesn’t taste like Jiffy. Due to this, I always make it from the mix.

I checked my kitchen for supplies and I learned that I did have cornmeal. I bought it the last time I hit up the bulk bins at Rainbow Grocery. I had plans for cornmeal cakes, but never got around to it. I had buttermilk. I checked a few recipes, from Paula Deen’s to just random things popping up on people’s blogs. None of the recipes were really grabbing me. I looked up recipes for Whole Wheat Cornbread. Those weren’t all that exciting either. After checking the pantry once more, I decided to make Spelt Cornbread. I was feeling pretty impressed with myself until I googled that and found out that tons of people had done it before, including Ashley at (never home) maker. Oops. Guess I’m not special after all. Sniff.

In the end, I wound up making my own recipe, loosely based on different elements from all of the recipes I checked out. I know it sounds like this research phase took an awful long time, but I promise, I spent like 10 minutes searching before the Gemini in me took over and said, “Whatever! I’m creative! (and bored!) I’ll wing it!”

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup spelt flour, 1.5 cups cornmeal, 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, .5 teaspoon baking soda, .25 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

1.5 cups reduced fat buttermilk, 4 tablespoons of butter (melted), 1 egg,  2 tablespoons of maple syrup.

Speaking of butter, when I went into my fridge to get some, I found the cutest darned thing:

Is that not the cutest stick of butter ever?!

I don’t really keep butter in the house, as I don’t need it very often. At Christmas time, however, I had planned to make chocolate chip cookies, so I had bought this butter. I remember choosing this box because it came in half sticks. I never made the cookies and I never opened this box of adorable butter. So I was all surprised and excited when I got to use one of these mini butter sticks.

(Hey, I find joy where I can, people!)

Combine well and pour into a baking dish of your choice. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cornbread is done when a toothpick/knife inserted comes out clean.

It should look something like this.

Now as I’ve mentioned, the main way I eat cornbread is crumbled in milk. As a matter of fact, it is the ONLY reason I EVER make cornbread. I don’t make it to go with chili or soup…I prefer crackers. I don’t make it to go on the side of a southern meal or for any other “normal” reason.

I make it when I want to eat bread ‘n’ milk.

This is what bread ‘n’ milk looks like. Yes. I took two slices for my bowl. It’s how I roll.

Overall, I thought the spelt cornbread was pretty good!

I won’t lie though, it isn’t Jiffy. I was sort of okay with that though. This was much heartier. One of my big problems with making cornbread is portion control. I usually have to make it in muffin tins so I don’t keep going back. Sometimes bread ‘n’ milk doesn’t really fill me up and I end up eating several servings of cornbread. This time, I was satisfied with the two hunks I cut out of my loaf. It actually staved off hunger for about 4-5 hours, which isn’t bad at all.

I know I will eat Jiffy again, but for now, this will do.

What is your favorite way to eat cornbread?

Before I start, I have a favor to put out to you bloggers:

I need 3 guest posts for the first weekend in December. I’ve tweeted about this a couple of times over the last week, but I kept forgetting to ask here. So please, if anyone can lend a hand, DM me on twitter or comment here that you’re interested and I will shoot you an e-mail to set things up.

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I’m so proud of myself for going running on Wednesday. I really have not been in the mood lately, but with a race a week from Sunday, getting back into my Brooks and onto the pavement was completely necessary. I have to tell you, for the first mile I started thinking that perhaps I have lost my mind. Me? Running? Races? What?

I only ran about 2.25 miles, and I did take a couple of walking breaks. Aafter the first mile, however, I did start to find my rhythm. I even ran up a hill on the way back home. I don’t generally do inclines, but I thought, “What the heck? Let’s run up this street for a block!” I swear. It just about killed me. Just one block.

In my defense, I live in San Francisco.

It’s okay. I survived.

I huffed and puffed for a block, caught my breath and then resumed my run home.

Once I showered I had a huge bowl of Monday’s soup. This soup has really surprised me. Typically, I grow sick of soup within a day of making it. I only cook for myself, so I get sick of eating the same thing everyday. This soup, however, is great. I am in no way sick of it. I actually ate it for lunch and dinner on Tuesday. It’s nice when things work out like that.

I didn’t get to cleaning because I spent too much time on laundry. Not by choice. I spent $1.50 drying my clothes, only to come back 30 minutes later to a dryer full of wet clothes. The machine just tossed them around without heat for a half hour, despite me having depressed the “high heat” button.

Laundry fail.

For dinner, I decided to make something quick, as I wanted to save my soup for lunch at work. I decided to fall back on a dinner I’ve been having a lot lately, which is pasta w/broccoli. I didn’t have any tomatoes or bottled sauces. I also didn’t want to try making any non-tomato based sauces, as my last attempt wasn’t really that great. I dug around in the kitchen and realized I had a packet of alfredo mix.

Aw, what the heck. Let’s give it a go.

Heat up the milk and the butter. Add the packet. Mix until dissolved. Add parmesan. Mix some more. Remove from heat.

Looks okay.

Chop up your bunches of broccoli and cook them however you see fit. Today I was going the total lazy route and decided to steam it in one of those steamer zip lock bags in the microwave.

The idiot in me loves these things. It even tells you how long to put it in the microwave.

Make up a pot of whole wheat spaghetti and combine it with the broccoli and sauce. Put some in a bowl and eat dinner while you watch The Pioneer Woman on Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

I thought the sauce was okay, but nothing special. Good in a pinch if you don’t have anything better to use.

Sometime after dinner I realized that I never made pancakes today. It had been my plan to make pancakes for batch freezing. I usually make up a couple of batches and I wrap two at a time in wax paper and saran wrap. After all of the pancakes are wrapped, I put them in a zip lock bag and stick them in the freezer. They make for a quick, healthy breakfast when I don’t have time to make anything else.

Normally, not making pancakes wouldn’t really matter. I can just make them another day. The problem today was that I had a carton of buttermilk in my fridge for this purpose. I got up and checked the sell by date….11/15. Hmm. I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to make pancakes again until next Tuesday, which would make my milk really past its date. So I knew I should make them tonight.

But it was 9:30pm.

Not really prime pancake making time.

Oh! I know!

I’ll make up two packages of Jiffy mix cornbread!

I figured that at least I got to use some of the buttermilk, so even if it doesn’t make it to pancake making day, it didn’t go completely to waste. Plus, cornbread is excellent for breakfast, so I can eat it at work on Friday (I have oatmeal for Thursday, but I had been planning to have pancakes on Friday).

I know a lot of you out there are thumbing your nose at my pan of Jiffy Mix cornbread. Now, if you’re vegan, I’ll give you a pass, as I just read last week on a Healthy Tipping Point recipe that Jiffy has animal fat in it. (Yeah, I’ve been eating Jiffy my entire life and I’ve never once looked at the ingredients. Oops.) So, if you’re vegan, then yes, this bread is awful.

Otherwise, you should just get over yourself. My grandmother was from Trion, Georgia, and knew darned well how to make cornbread without a mix. She still used Jiffy. So I don’t feel bad one bit.

Actually I feel glad and will think of her on Friday morning when I eat my milk and bread. Miss you grandma!

Do you ever cook with mixes to save time? Is it homemade or the highway?