I made this cornbread as part of a meal inspired by Ramona Quimby, Age 8. In that book, Ramona (also known as Ramona the Pest) has to make dinner with her sister as punishment for complaining about their mother’s cooking. Ramona is specifically instructed to make cornbread because she complained her mom didn’t make it.
Ramona improvises very creatively, substituting banana yogurt for the buttermilk and cream of wheat for part of the cornmeal. The cornbread comes out okay anyway, if a little pale and flat.
My son wanted to replicate the meal, so we did (but kosherizing it, of course). The whole menu? Chili chicken with peas, carrot sticks, rice, cornbread and canned pears with apricot jam (for dessert).
This cornbread is especially moist, partly because the recipe calls for adding boiling water to part of the cornmeal, partly because I added triple the oil the recipe called for by (happy) accident.
Pam Anderson’s Southern Style Cornbread
Adapted from Pam Anderson’s The Perfect Recipe (also in Food and Wine Magazine, but the recipe there is doubled).
Combine in a mixing bowl to make cornmeal mush:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup boiling water
Add to the cornmeal mixture:
3/4 cup soy milk plus a capful (1 tsp.) rice vinegar (to replace buttermilk)
4 tsp. oil (oops, I used 4 Tbl. olive oil, which is probably why my cornbread was so especially moist)
In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients:
1 teaspoons sugar
1teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the cornmeal mush/egg/soy milk/oil. Pour the batter into a greased 8″ square pan (it is supposed to be a preheated pan, but I didn’t bother). Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes (I baked at 400 degrees and it was fine, but the hotter temperature makes a darker crust)