Monday, November 23, 2009

Drizzly day recipe

Hello? I know it's been ages since I've posted, but I promise I'll be back to a regular schedule soon. It won't be until after the holidays, but things will pick up a bit. I've been working on a rather energy-intensive DIY project -- a baby! -- but now that I'm past the first couple of months, I'm finally able to get through the day without collapsing by 7 p.m.

This weekend, the weather was cool and drizzly, a standard Texas November. Feeling tired after working all week, and in need of something comforting for my unreasonable moodiness, I put on a pot of pinto beans when I got home from work Saturday afternoon before indulging in a nap. Nothing comforts a Texas soul like pinto beans and cornbread, and when the weather turns cool and wet, you can bet we'll be making either a pot of beans or a pot of chili. My mom talks about coming home from school to smell beans cooking, knowing it meant her mother was home for the afternoon. Mom's pinto beans are the second best, but no one makes them like Mama, her mother. Saturday, I was pleased to make the very first batch I'd proudly serve to Mama. They weren't as good as hers, or as my mom's, but they were a great step in the right direction.

Pinto beans are deceptively easy -- cover them with 2-3 inches of water, add a ham hock (or an onion and bay leaf if you're vegetarian) and cook slowly all day. Don't let the water cook out or they'll burn, and don't salt them until 20 minutes or so before they're done. I salted mine when I put the cornbread in the oven. Serve with chopped onion, jalapenos or even salsa -- or just plain with a little salt and pepper.

This cornbread was a concoction of my mom's. It's a hearty, crunchy whole grain cornbread with lots of flavor, and tastes as good for breakfast with a little butter and honey as it does the night before with dinner.

Whole wheat cornbread

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup stone ground cournmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cup milk

Pour vegetable oil into a large cast iron skillet and place in oven. Preheat oven (with pan and oil) to 400 degrees. Pour all other ingredients in a bowl and mix with fork until blended. Pour hot oil into batter and stir, then pour batter into the heated pan. Place pan in oven and cook 25-30 minutes until fully baked. Top of cornbread will be slightly brown and firm to the touch.

1 comment:

  1. tee hee. "energy-intensive DIY project" - I love it.


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