A snowy February weekend in New England is the perfect excuse to cozy up with a book, a cup of tea, and some warming food that is homemade but not too taxing to prepare. Yesterday, as nature set about reminding us that it is still winter, I dropped a pot roast into the crockpot with a few root vegetables to simmer away and fill the air with savory smells foreshadowing a satisfying dinner. Then I read the Sunday papers at my leisure, but every so often I paused to consider how to round out the meal ahead without breaking the spell of a quiet, lazy day. So I decided on a quick pan of old-fashioned cornbread to bake later – much later. There was still that novel to finish and my weighty copy of Hamilton beckoning.
This recipe doesn’t come with much of a story. I cut it out of a magazine years ago, changed a few directions, and baked it so frequently when everyone was here that I had to copy it onto a card and throw the original out due to crumbling edges and batter stains that threatened to obliterate the text. Among the positive attributes of this cornbread is the fact that is not too sweet, so it can be served in place of a dinner roll. The texture is soft but not so crumbly that one cannot eat it without making a mess. It slices neatly and holds its shape, making it ideal for toasting up the next morning and topping with a little jam for a breakfast treat. So that’s what I did today.😋
Classic Corn Bread
Coat an 8″ x 8″ square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and pour into a medium or large mixing bowl. Add 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 cup of sour cream, sour milk or plain yogurt, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup of cornmeal. Mix just to combine. Place a sifter on a piece of wax paper and add 1 cup of all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Sift about half the dry ingredients into the cornmeal mixture, stir lightly, add 1/4 cup of milk, stir again and end with the rest of the dry ingredients. Again stir just enough to incorporate all the ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in a 375º oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes in the pan, slice, and serve warm.