Tag Archives: food

Southern Girl Cornbread

The gauntlet has been thrown down or, in this case, the cast iron skillet.  It all began with my weekly email to our farm families where I include various info about our veggies, recipes and supper ideas.  I shared our previous night’s supper of beans and greens with cornbread.  I shared the very easy and basic recipe for cornbread that my husband makes:

First, you need a cast iron pan (really it is better) to cook your cornbread, and preheat your oven to 400.  1 cup cornmeal mix, 2 Tablespoons of Butter melted, 1/2 cup sugar, and enough milk to get it moving around when you mix it.. bake approx 20 minutes.

Well…Sandra B., one of our farm families called me out.  ” Just gotta tell you. Southern girls never put sugar in cornbread. 😍”  While in all reality Sandra is correct because neither my husband nor I grew up eating cornbread  made with sugar or with a cornmeal mix, I did let her know that this southern girl will gladly eat whatever her southern husband is willing to cook.  In this case, a quick and easy cornbread recipe that was a comfort food to him in grad school at UNC.

Here is a real southern cornbread recipe compliments of Sandra B., who does know her southern cooking.

Sandra B’s Cornbread recipe:
Southern cornbread, as opposed to sugary corn muffins, is mostly about technique.  This recipe is great for making cornbread dressing, btw.
Put about 6 Tbls of Crisco in an iron skillet and preheat it in a 400 degree oven. Or, 5 of Crisco and 1 of bacon fat, if you are not vegan, as we are. Some people like to fry about an inch of salt pork in the skillet, instead of the bacon.
Note: Iron skillets also can be the individual stick style, which our mothers liked, but are very time consuming.
Meanwhile, mix in a bowl,
1.5 cups yellow cornmeal
.5 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda.
1 teaspoon salt
Make a hole in the center and stir together,
1.25 cups buttermilk
1 egg  I now use a vegan egg substitute.
Then, gradually bring in the dry ingredients. I use a large fork.  Like mine a little runny and sometimes add more buttermilk.
When the fat is sizzling and the skillet is very hot, pour it into the mixture and fold it in.
Immediately, pour the batter back into the hot skillet. This will give you that brown crusty top you are looking for when you flip it out onto the serving plate.
Bake about 20 minutes, until edges are brown. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and let it rest for a few minutes before flipping out. If your pan is seasoned well, it should not stick.
Never wash your iron skillet to keep it properly seasoned.  I clean mine out with salt and a paper towel with some oil on it.
So get out your well seasoned skillets, eat some cornbread, and by all means let us know your favorite cornbread recipe.
Cheers to Cornbread from me and Sandra B.,
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Variety in the garden keeps it interesting in the kitchen

I love fresh, healthy, and flavorful food.  I love growing it, sharing it,  talking about it and especially eating it.  A couple of our farm families inspired me to make a homemade garlic and greens pizza this week.  Joanne mentioned that her family loves arugula on pizza, and Darlyne made a delicious pizza for book group that included spinach from our garden.  I kept is simple with olive oil rubbed on the crust, a mix of freshly harvested and chopped greens and garlic, and mozzarella topping it off.  Yummy!

We have also been enjoying a variety of salad greens.  I love the romaine with a light citrus vinaigrette that enhances the greens.  Olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a hint of ground pepper and sea salt.

Tomorrow I plan to braise and saute pak choi to accompany our crab cakes and make a slaw with kohlrabi, apples and spring onions.

We are growing over 100 varieties of various vegetables so there are plenty of flavors to tempt the taste buds.    Feel free to share some of your favorite ways to enjoy fresh garden vegetables.

Bon Appetit!

p.s. A few links to fun sites to find recipes if you need them:

http://theshiksa.com

http://www.simplyrecipes.com

www.epicurious.com

 

On Farming and Food

I highly recommend reading Wendell Berry’s Bringing it to the Table:  On Farming and Food.  Even if you already know Berry’s work, you will enjoy this collection of essays and a few shorts on the importance of what we eat and how we grow and raise our food.  It is imperative to look at the whole picture not just one slice when considering what one chooses to eat and what kind of farms one chooses to support.

Nanny’s Biscuits with Honey

 

I loved my grandmother’s (Nanny) biscuits.  To me, none have ever compared.  Nanny didn’t use a recipe of course, but perfected them from years of practice.  She made biscuits so often that she actually kept flour in her large biscuit bowl and only had to add other ingredients to the center flour well.  She made them with her hands and never a rolling pin.  As a child, I loved sitting on the counter and watching and helping, one of my favorite childhood memories.

[The following recipe will get you started making Nanny’s biscuits.  Practice will improve your biscuits over time.  ]

Nanny’s Biscuit Recipe

Nanny always used White Lily Self-Rising Flour.  It makes a difference.

1.)    Purchase White Lily Self-Rising Flour and use the recipe on the bag.  Nanny didn’t use a recipe and made them most everyday of her adult life so she had refined her biscuit making, but I am a novice so the recipe is a good place to start.  Make sure you sift the flour.

2.)    I used Smart Balance Vegetable Shortening

3.)    Nanny didn’t roll out her biscuits, but instead pulled off a small amount of dough and lightly rolled it into a ball in her hands and then placed in the pan and lightly pressed the biscuit with a couple of fingers to flatten.  (Make sure you flour your hands before rolling and pressing and lightly flour the dough)

4.)    I baked on 500 convection bake 6-8 minutes.

5.)    Slice, butter and pour on the honey!

Enjoy…

Honey Harvest

Our first official honey harvest!  We are thrilled to have enough our first year to bottle a limited sampling of our honey.  Since Glenn put the supers on the last of June and took them off early August, it seems that the bees mostly collected Sourwood honey.  Whatever you want to call it…it is pure yumminess!  We have a limited production of this honey so our farm families will get first choice, and then we will sell to others.  If you want to get on our honey alert email list, please email us at beebranchfarm@gmail.com and ask to be notified of future honey availability.

Fresh from the garden supper

Sweet corn, brandywine tomato, sweet and sour cooked cabbage, fried okra and Glenn’s sweet cornbread.  This, finished off with a glass of sweet tea is summer yumminess.

The first honey is the sweetest…

Glenn collected our first frame of wildflower honey last week and it is divine, so divine that most of it didn’t make it to a jar.  It is the sweet essence of flowers and summer.