Tuesday, February 02, 2010

corn bread

The thing that started life as an idea to make a white chili (chicken and white beans) turned into a reality that was more a brown (reddish) broth soup that was good nonetheless. It did get its share of both chicken and white beans, and it tastes unmistakably not unlike chili, but it doesn't meet my own criteria, so I'll just call it soup.

I did make cornbread to go with it. I have a square skillet, so my cornbread has corners. That seems to be a positive in the "creates crustiness" category. There's also bacon fat in the refrigerator, so it was that much better.

An easy assumption would be that, by my age, my mother had cooked way more corn bread than I have currently. It never became as much a part of my repertoire as hers, but then my eating habits have changed drastically, and often for the worse, and my general familial style is also quite different that how I was raised.

My whole point here is that, while Mom very likely didn't, I needed a recipe for cornbread. The last one consumed in this house was made by Momma. She used on odd cookbook, one with a title containing any of the words ladies, church, society or settlers. I could be wrong, but I'm not.

There several recipes in this book, a book put together by having a bunch of ladies, probably members of some group or society, send in recipes they felt best represented themselves and their reasons behind putting together a cookbook. Often, several pages in a row will contain very similar recipes, such as we find for corn bread.

I glanced at the book after finding my way half way through putting together the Joy of Cooking's recipe for Southern cornbread. I'm not sure what Mrs. Joy thought she was up to, but some of what she suggests about Southern cornbread do not ring true when one reads recipes by actual southern people, people with a desire to be and remain as true as possible to some ideal of southern-ness.

None of that is actually the point. I liked it well enough as something to go in a bowl of soup that happens to be not entirely unlike a white chili, and I have enough left for something else. Maybe a little molasses and butter for breakfast in the morning is a not at all bad idea.