Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cornmeal and the Simple Things in Life

Live Simply print by Karen Tribett, image from allposters.com
I love cornbread. It's probably one of the oldest, most original of American foods. It always makes me think of pioneer days or the old west. It's a tradition as old as this country. When I make recipes with cornmeal, especially cornbread, I feel like a part of "Little House on the Prairie." When I was younger I loved "Little House on the Prairie." I often daydreamed about what it would be like to live the hard, but really fun and interesting life of Laura Ingalls. And to wear bonnets. Today I still find myself wishing things were more simple like they were back then. Not necessarily easier (outhouses and no electricity - gah!), but just more simple (making the most with what you have). I guess that's why I love cornbread. It reminds of the simple things in life. I have a framed print in my kitchen that says "Live Simply," to remind me of just that.


I talked about my favorite cornbread recipe in a blog I wrote about a year ago. Since then I've found other uses for cornmeal. Most recently, pancakes and dinner rolls. I had some leftover buttermilk from the Cookie Salad I made for a holiday potluck, so you know what that means - pancakes! I came across a recipe on my new favorite recipe site Food.com. Cornmeal Molasses Pancakes sounded like a really good, old-fashioned recipe. I love the flavor of molasses and have been a little obsessed with gingerbread lately. I added some cinnamon and cloves to the batter and they turned out to be the perfect winter-morning breakfast.

Another recipe I recently tried comes from my first issue of Taste of Home magazine. Cornmeal Dinner Rolls. I saw the recipe and knew I had to make it very soon. It was the perfect roll to go with the Turkey Soup I mentioned in my previous blog. Baking bread and rolls is another one of those things that remind me to "live simply." It's such a basic thing to make and I've found it to be a very satisfying process. These rolls did not disappoint. They were so soft and pillowy, I just wanted to rest my cheek on one and take a nap. A nice, fresh-baked-bread-scented nap. Heavenly.

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