Around the picnic table, the light country breeze bringing about whiffs of fragrant coffee caught between laughter and light-hearted conversations. The tall stalks in the field sway, unrestrained, as though in a dance. The cornbread is warm in my hands as I sit patiently waiting for the orange hues in the sky to reach its full form. Soon enough, the sun comes up behind the horse stables, welcoming another bright day. As I look around at my family, shadows on their faces disappearing with the rising of the sun, there is an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness for that very moment, every one that follows, and every one that has passed…
This is the kind of scenario I have come to attach with the word “cornbread”. Although I have to say, because I got this recipe from the blog of a Yankee, I have come to eat it and love it the way Yanks do- with the maple syrup and all. I hope the Southerners don’t mind.
The Country intrigues me a lot. I’ve never been there so I can only go as far as my imagination, which includes images of sparse plantations and giant trees; grand-looking houses beside equally grand-looking fields; and farms where horses and sheep co-exist peacefully under the sun. The gentle wind would blow through my hair as I drive up the old dirt road, and the light tinkling sounds of cowbells would drift to my ears.
Just one bite of this Maple Cornbread with a dollop of maple syrup takes me to cozy early-morning breakfasts spent with loved ones. I think that’s what I find charming about country life; that warm feeling of togetherness that sometimes you can’t find in the city. City life can get so fast-paced and busy sometimes that you do not get to stop and savor a small moment sharing laughs, stories and good food with your family.
I’d like to think that despite living in the city and being so busy with each of our responsibilities, my family and I always get to share evenings and Sunday meals together. With light banter and jokes going around the table, it is one of the things I treasure the most in this world.
When this came out of the oven, it was so gorgeous and homey I just had to serve it up immediately!
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Put the butter in the baking pan and place the pan in the oven for a few minutes to melt the butter.
- 2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- 3. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and maple syrup. Take out the butter from the oven and pour into the mixture, leaving about a tablespoon or two to grease the pan. Add eggs and whisk mixture until smooth.
- 4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir together just until moistened. Do not overmix.
- 5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Erica Lea shares how most Yankees like their cornbread: Get a large square piece and cut through it right in the middle. Then start slathering butter and maple syrup all over your cornbread halves. The cornbread absorbs maple syrup like a charm, which to me was kind of unexpected for a rather firm bread. You can pretty much eat the cornbread however you like at this point, but aside from maple syrup, I like mine with strawberry jam, too. Yum!
And since we’re on the subject of breakfasts perfect for sharing, I cooked some yummy Classic Churros again one morning due to popular demand. I tried making them into ribbons and they turned out so prettily!
Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide
This looks great. We live in the South but are Yankees through and through and love cornbread. My wife’s parents are southern and they never used sugar in theirs. I love the idea of using maple.