I'm beginning to think that nostalgia is an actual flavor. I mean, don't most people describe their favorite comfort foods in terms of childhood memories or Grandma's recipe or Mom's whatever? Things that taste nostalgic have very profound effects on our tastebuds, and if that isn't a scientific fact, I think it should be.
So today I am sharing with you my corn bread recipe that has very strong nostalgic overtones for me because it's the self-same cornbread that my Mom made for us way back in the 50's and 60's. It's the cornbread that I made when the kids were little and it continues to be the cornbread I make for the two of us.
And we never tire of it Probably because it tastes so nostalgic and homey and it's otherwise also just so very good. But it's also because of honey. Oh, and butter.
When I was growing up, cornbread was always slathered with lots of butter and gobs of honey and I still love it that way. But more recently I've taken to combining them for a more subtle approach, but certainly no less delicious. In fact, the Husband, who never puts honey OR butter on his cornbread (ever the purist) declared that honeybutter was decidedly now his cornbread condiment of choice.
But back to the cornbread... as most nostalgic and homey foods tend to be, this one is simple, uncomplicated and quite happy to be nothing fancier than just plain cornbread. But as it turns out, that's quite enough to turn a bowl of soup or chili into the perfect meal, or make breakfast that much more delicious and satisfying. Historically speaking, this one's been proven to deliver cornbread goodness every single time.
So how easy is it? Well, no special mixers or tools needed, just 2 bowls, a whisk and a spoon.
Mix the 4 dry ingredients in one bowl,
the 5 wet ingredients in the other bowl, combine them,
pour into the baking pan of choice
and in 30 minutes you will have cornbread. Every time. Nostalgia and reliability are pretty good friends.
And if you'd like a little honeybutter on that, then all you need is one little bowl, some softened butter and honey.
Mix with a fork and place that on a piece of plastic, roll it up and refrigerate it until solid
and then slice.
Or, you could just place your soft honey butter in a bowl and refrigerate it or just use it soft. It'll melt even faster that way.
It's so nice to know that in this world where last week's new thing will be inconsequential next week, some things stay vital and relevant and not only stand the test of time, but even sort of transcend it. I'm glad we've had this chat, and if you'd like to keep it real and make some cornbread, here's the recipe...
Old Fashioned Cornbread with Homemade Honeybutter
This is old timey simplicity at its finest, and cornbread done the way it’s been made in our family since the 1950’s. It’s nothing fancy or tricky; just ever so good. Serve with homemade honey butter (recipe below), if you like.
1 ½ cups corn meal
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup whole milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
You will need an 9-inch cake pan or cast iron skillet that’s been greased or sprayed with cooking spray. You could also use a 9-inch square baking pan.
Combine the first four ingredients (dry ingredients) in a medium bowl and whisk to fully incorporate.
In a second bowl whisk together the last 5 ingredients (wet ingredients).
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and then pour into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until slightly golden on top. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan and cutting.
Homemade Honey Butter
For each ¼ cup of softened butter, you will need 1 tablespoon of honey.
Use a fork to stir the butter and honey together. When completely combined, place on a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a log as you wrap it up. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap to seal.
Place this in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until it’s firm. Slice as needed. Alternately, you can just place your honeybutter in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.