Tuesday, October 4, 2011
So I know the name of this blog is Dinner Diaries, but I thought we would start with breakfast. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Okay, I don't know if that is really scientifically true, but I did read somewhere (scroll to the section called "Does When You Eat Matter as much as What You Eat?") that people who skip breakfast tend to overdo it on the calories later on in the day to make up for their lack of calories in the morning. Besides, I don't know about you, but there is no way I can get anything productive done on an empty stomach.
When I was in summer camp, my favorite breakfast by far was cornbread. It would come hot and steaming to our tables in paper fast-food trays, and we would attack those trays as soon as they touched the table surface. Or rather, everyone else would attack the trays. I was always bad at attacking trays of anything--I was (er, still am) too prim and cautious in crowds. Dowsing my rescued piece of cornbread in syrup (rescued from the sweaty fingers of other children waiting to snatch it, of course), I would sigh, for all was well in the world for at least the two minutes it would take me to eat up.
It has been an ambition of mine for a long time to recreate that delicious summer camp cornbread. I finally took the plunge this morning. My husband took the day off from work to take care of a few things, and while he was out getting a hair cut, I decided to surprise him with breakfast. This recipe was incredibly easy to prepare, and I am not some cooking/baking guru who always has obscure ingredients in my kitchen and thinks everyone else does as well. I really did have everything right on hand!
I also liked that this recipe did not call for a lot of sugar and only called for one egg. It also did not call for any butter.
The cornbread came out sweet and was just the right amount of crumbly that cornbread ought to be. It was a touch grainier than I would have liked, but it was so close to being perfect that I am not sure I would change a thing in the recipe. Nothing will ever measure up to summer camp cornbread though, I'm afraid.
(Recipe from here.)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar (the recipe calls for 2/3 cup but I felt that 1/3 cup was enough)
1 teaspoon salt (I put in a little less)
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees f
Grease a 9" pan (I used an 8" because that's what I had)
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder)
Add in wet ingredients (egg, milk, oil) and stir until combined (but don't over-mix. I have learned that with baking, if you over-mix batter, the thing you are baking comes out too thick and heavy)
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (I baked mine for 22 minutes and it was perfect, but different ovens may be more or less powerful)
Serve with pure maple syrup, and enjoy!