The other day I made a pot of ham and navy bean soup. Then, I served it with some fresh bread. Today, I wanted to make some corn bread to serve with it. I pulled out my old Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Souvenir Edition (Commemorating the sale of 10,000,000 Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Books) that I bought at a yard sale when I was a young girl. I’m not sure when it was printed since the first six pages are missing but I love the old recipes in it. Some recipes I’ve never found anywhere else, like the scalloped corn that’s been a family tradition for as long as I can remember and I thought it was just something my Aunt Nancy made up. 🙂
Anyway, there’s a recipe in the cook book for Perfect Corn Bread that I’ve used many times and my family loves it. I’ve modified the original recipe a little here and a little there since I started the traditional cooking journey. I haven’t done a soaked version yet, that one is in the works, but here’s the version I cooked today.
Perfect Corn Bread
- 2 cups freshly ground hard white wheat flour (as opposed to red wheat)
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 8 tsp. Rumford aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. Redmond Real Salt
- 2 cups freshly ground yellow corn meal (just grind up some popcorn)
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 4 eggs from pastured hens
- 2 cups + 2 Tbls. real milk
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
Sift flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt; stir in corn meal. Add honey, eggs, milk, and coconut oil. Beat with rotary or electric beater till just smooth, about 1 minute. (Do not over-beat.) Pour into buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake in hot oven (425*) 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy.
This recipe for Perfect Corn Bread is a good metaphor for my journey in traditional foods. I changed the recipe many times over the years as my understanding of traditional cooking increased. My journey began years ago when I started using honey instead of sugar. For years, eating as healthy as I knew how and substituting honey for sugar was all I did.
Then I found a way to purchase organic food at an affordable price, so I was able to make that improvement to our diet. Then I learned about kefir and started making my own kefir and yogurt. I knew that grinding my own wheat was ideal, but as a single mom, who had the time? When I re-married and began working from home, I started grinding my own wheat. Then I gained access to coconut oil at a really good price so I started using coconut oil. Then I learned about Real Salt and Redmond clay and added that to my dietary tool belt. When I found out about the health benefits of real milk and found a way to include that in my diet, I added real milk. Along the way I began experimenting with sour dough. Then came grass-fed beef and pork which led to using lard and tallow, and the journey down the path continued until today when I modified a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook to make this version of Perfect Corn Bread.
My journey will continue, and this recipe will be modified, as I learn more and experiment more. The point is, as you learn more about traditional food preparation, don’t worry about where you are on the path as long as you’re headed in the right direction. Do what you can and add to that as you’re able.
Do you have a favorite recipe that you’ve made over since you started down the traditional food path?