FRIDAY FOOD THING
Not much can compare to a fresh piece of cornbread sizzling right out of the oven. There are so many good cornbread recipes and mixes available I won’t even bother mentioning them. Other than I always like to add a tablespoon of sugar (or a tablespoon of real maple syrup!) and I prefer buttermilk over regular milk when the recipe calls for it.
A while ago, my sister took me to an auction while I was visiting Florida. I ended up buying an antique, cast-iron cornbread pan whose batter-cavities look like miniature ears of corn sliced in half lengthwise. I thought I was bidding on TWO of those pans, but it turns out my $7 only netted me one of them. It was a screw-up by the auctioneer, but since I was happy with the price I chose not to argue the point. Mainly because I didn’t want to call attention to the fact that I managed to grab a pristine Leonardo Da Vinci art book for $11 and I felt like I had just looted a great European treasure. With 1,635 illustrations, the book was huge.
At any rate, tonight I tried the new-old cornbread pan for the first time, heating it inside the 450-degree oven before pouring in the batter, which hissed and sizzled a bit upon contact with the pan. A key to making good cornbread, I’m told, is to always add the batter to a HOT and well-greased pan. That — of course — and adding a tablespoon of sugar or maple syrup. Unfortunately, I discovered, it is very important to heavily over-grease those batter-cavities that look like miniature ears of corn sliced in half lengthwise because I didn’t and — it was impossible to extricate the cornbread ears without breaking them into crumbs.