Monday, January 2, 2012

Bang!

Our 2012 started with a bang! Literally. After cooking our collards the day before, I let them simmer for a long time last night while I cooked the rest of the supper. Just minutes before we were ready to eat, I heard a loud bang. The glass lid on the pot had shattered. It was safety glass, so most of the glass remained intact. But I could see just a few very tiny, very shiny glass fragments around the gas burner. Enough to make the wonder if some had fallen into the pot. So we could only look at the good greens that almost made it to the table.


But it was New Year's Day--we HAD to have collards. I had bought a couple of cans of collards the day before because a friend who owns a local restaurant told me this brand was really good. Thanks to her recommendation, we did have collards after all. Not the same, but we did manage to keep the tradition going. Thank goodness for canned vegetables.


The rest of the supper was fine, though. My personal favorite of the meal (besides the marinated pork) was the cornbread. I love this recipe. It's a good, moist cornbread. We've made it many times. It's easy to make--mostly dump in the ingredients and stir it up. When I make it for just the two of us, I will put half in the freezer for later. It's just as good when you pull it out and reheat it. 


Corny Cornbread

1/2 cup vegetable oil (plus extra for greasing the pan)
1-3/4 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
1 cup cream-style corn 
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream (the light kind works just as well)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a 7x11-inch baking pan or a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking oil. Preheat the pan in the oven. 

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, stirring with a spoon until combined. Pour batter into the preheated pan. Place pan in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.


If you've heated the pan long enough, the batter will sizzle when it hits the hot pan. Sometimes I heat it long enough. Sometimes I don't. The difference? If the pan is hot enough, you'll get a good crust on the cornbread. Don't worry if yours doesn't sizzle. It will still be good, but the crust will not quite as crispy.

I used Martha White buttermilk cornbread mix for this because it's my favorite brand. I also like Cope's frozen creamed corn, but it's hard to find. Use whatever kind you can find--frozen or canned. 

Baby Sister had her first taste of collards last night. Wish I'd had the camera at the table. She was not a fan of cooked greens. She made quite a face as she spit them out. Maybe it's an acquired taste. She did gobble up her share of peas, cornbread and sweet potatoes. She might not have folding money this year, but her piggy bank should be full of coins!


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