Friday, December 3, 2010

Whole Wheat Cornbread

My family bakes cornbread. As in, my family really bakes cornbread, with a heartfelt passion, such that if I had to pick one single recipe to encapsulate my family's culinary memories it would be, without a doubt, our cornbread method, lovingly memorized and carried with me to my first college apartment and beyond. My mother bakes cornbread, my grandmother bakes cornbread, I bake cornbread. As far as we know, our ancestors have been baking some version of cornbread on this soil since before the United States was even founded. While John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were busily debating, my great-grandmother many times over was likely baking a cornmeal jonnycake somewhere.

I tend to get especially nostalgic around the holidays, so I've been baking cornbread with especially heightened enthusiasm recently. Perhaps it's the early arrival of Chanukkah, or perhaps I'm just more organized than usual this year (likely the former, highly unlikely the latter), but immediately after Thanksgiving we could feel the holiday spirit infusing our house. Two days after Thanksgiving, we picked out and decorated our little Christmas tree...

(we opted for a tiny, dainty, artificial tree this year in an attempt to minimize collateral cat damage)

The menorahs were also poised alongside the trees, awaiting the start of Chanukkah on December 1st...

The table was decorated for the first night of Chanukkah celebration...

and even the vintage Pyrex on the bookshelves received their own little holiday table runners!

And cornbread, which has nothing at all to do with Chanukkah or Christmas, per se, has been baking in the oven at a steady rate - for our cozy little household, for neighbors, co-workers, and friends.

And in honor of my ancestors, who I never knew...

Whole Wheat Cornbread

¾ cup turbinado sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
4 eggs
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup 1% milk

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8X8 baking pan with cooking spray.
~ Whisk together the sugar and olive oil.
~ Add the eggs, and beat well.
~ Add all the remaining ingredients, and mix again until combined.
~ Pour the batter into the baking pan, and bake for 45 minutes – until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
~ Enjoy warm, with plenty of butter…


Johanna GGG said...

lovely post - and while you say cornbread has nothing to do with christmas or channukah, surely any food that brings the family tpgether and past generations to mind is made in the spirit of these celebrations

Kerstin said...

What a cool family tradition! I love cornbread but have never attempted a whole wheat version, definitely putting that on my list.

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Talk about nastalgia, those vintage Pyrex dishes are in my parents house, STILL! I love them, and I just used them to make waffle cones last night :) They always remind me of my childhood.

This recipe sounds wonderful. I'm sure I could make it with whole grain brown rice or oat flour. With a bowl of chili, what more could you ask for?!

I love that you and Zach do a tree. You get to celebrate two holidays, it's unique~

MelindaRD said...

I know Hanukkah was so darn early this year. I think in 2013 it starts like Nov 27th or something. I give Ryan some gifts during Hanukah when it is so early so he is not so left out of all the gift giving. Happy Hanukkah!

The cornbread looks great. I might need to make some soon.