Wednesday, June 30, 2010

88. Cornbread-Buttermilk Loaf, Comforting

Food can be comforting...and certain words with food can be even more comforting. If we say something was made by Mom or Grandma...feelings are automatically attached to that item. We want to believe that anything made by someone's grandmother or mother is better, warmer, tastier and all around  more wonderful.

Whole cookbooks carry titles like Grandma's Cookin' or Mother's Home-style Recipes;  they probably sell a lot better just because of the warm-and-fuzzy factor. My interest is captured when I read those folksy-titled cookbooks...for some reason, I am hopeful that a real mother or grandmother somewhere has left her wisdom and experience with food for the rest of us to enjoy. I am just as certain, though, that many family recipes are closely guarded secrets and those great recipes often become lost or just fade away. What a shame...especially when there are so many horrible recipes floating around free for the taking.

Today's recipe contains the word grandmother...and also buttermilk.When I see that buttermilk is in a recipe...I automatically think
 'old-fashioned' because my dad grew up drinking it and said it was wonderful. I have only tasted real buttermilk once and decided it must be an acquired tast.

As far as today's recipe goes, if you do not want to purchase a carton, there are ways to substitute buttermilk in a recipe, *(see directions below). The resulting loaf has a different texture than traditional makes a tender, lovely loaf which can be served with butter and jam or alongside a bowl of chili or a salad. It can also be toasted and companioned with a breakfast egg.

Grandmother's Cornbread-Buttermilk Loaf

1 1/2 C flour
1 C yellow cornmeal
1/3 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 C margarine
1 1/3 C buttermilk*
2 eggs

* (A. Use powdered buttermilk according to the pkg. directions with 1 1/3 C water or  B.  put 4 tsp lemon juice in a measuring cup and add enough milk to equal 1 1/3 cups. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes before using).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in margarine with a fork until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Pour into the center of the cornmeal mixture. Stir until a stiff batter is formed...there will be a few lumps. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Tent loaf with foil if it begins to overbrown ). Remove from pan carefully and allow to cool on a wire rack. Slice to serve. Makes 1 loaf.

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