Sunday, December 4, 2011


Well they're out, and they look much more appealing than the last batch (also Old School). I was really going to wait a little while before I tried this recipe again especially since I felt like I blundered through it the last time. But no, I got to bed early (not long after midnight) and went right to sleep--for about an hour. I think I dreamed of "Old School" cornbread. I know I woke up thinking about it, to the exclusion of everything else for a ridiculously long time. Surely I won't go back to that dream, right. Finally, I resolved to use the good Russian name for sauerkraut I found in my cabbage lore research. I applied it to another batch of Old School (with accessories).

  It's a little embarrassing to push on with the variations without yet making one batch to specs, but the pone must go on. So I do'od it. This time the buttermilk was only 1cup, instead of the 2 cups called for in the 1/2 Piggly-Matt-Wiggly recipe. Replacing the other cup of buttermilk, was 1cup of sauerkraut and its juice (cut short). The heated bacon drippings were replaced by heated corn oil, but I was careful this time to be as stingy with the oil as the recipe was, I only used a fuzz more than the 1/4 cup called for. This oil also supplied the partial teaspoon I put in each cell of the mini-loaf pans.

 I considered keeping it simple, but I do love my cheesy, peppery cornbread. I cubed and grated the 3 to 4 oz of extra sharp cheddar cheese, and prepped the peppers (chipotles in Adobo and pickled jalapeno nacho slices). After mixing my dry ingredients and pouring them in a bowl on the side, I heated the oil on low till it gave that sweet smell and oiled the pans and placed them in the oven. Next I added the cornmeal, salt, baking soda mixture, to the wet ingredients (except the oil) and mixed thoroughly. At this point I added the hot oil to the bubbling batter, and noticed it looked a little thin. A quick mental inventory had me wondering if I had shorted the yellow corn meal, and since I was pretty sure, I added 1/4 cup of yellow cornmeal to the mix and pulled the pans out of the oven to begin filling them.

I wondered at first if maybe I'd added too much cheese. I really had to cut loose and gently pry to get any of these to come loose from the pans, but since it was every single one I can only guess it's the halfa-cup less oil (compared to a batch of kentucky cornbread of similar size). I only tore one piece up in the removal process, it was yummy.

Oh yeah, I had to test a chipotle one too, (I got a little too generous with the chipotle and adobo a couple of batches ago and I'm still a little gun shy). Ow I did it again, I think. It's a little hard to tell for sure, tonight we had the last of the batch of slightly over warm chili. Lots-o-cornbread happening this week, but I'll try to get the 4x6 recipe card for this article together later this week.


----------------AS FIRST SEEN IN "ADVENTURES IN CORNBREAD"--------------

 I'm still not completely  over the scary cheese debacle, but the missing corn bread has left  a big void in my cornbread heavy dinner portfolio. Since I'm still a little embarrassed to face the Kentucky-cornbread recipe so soon after the stinky cheese incident, I thought " How bout Old School?"

  I've had an interesting nonself-rising recipe that makes two skillets worth, that looks very different.

  This recipe, shared with me by my friend Matthew at the Mt. Brook Village Piggly Wiggly, at first glance makes at least twice the amount of batter that my usual favorite  (Kentucky2.0). This is not nearly all that's not the same.

 Even cut in half this recipe calls for twice the buttermilk of the Kentucky2.0 and 3/4 of a cup more cornmeal. The 2 eggs is similar, but the amount of oil seems skimpy even before it's split (Plush Neon Monkey pointed out that some recipes add their oil hot, and I remembered such a verbal stipulation for this recipe.) So I guess I'll half the baking soda, and salt, and give it a whirl (with one kind of regular cornmeal, and corn oil).

Already with the next wrinkle? not quite enough buttermilk, grate, the onion that is.

Well it was more eventful than the pictures can reveal, no time to take em. I had my hands full stumbling through the ingredients. I heated my oil separate (in a pot) and pre-oiled my mini-loaf pans. I began to mix up the wet ingredients, eggs,onion,buttermilk, and still the oil was waiting on the stove.

I was just about to pour the corn meal when I realized it had no baking soda to react with so I quick put a teaspoon in a bowl and mixed it with the corn meal. I put the pans in to pre-heat. I poured the cornmeal- baking soda mix into the liquid stirring. I was comforted to see it begin to bubble, and thought about what all the different ingredients did. That was when I realized that there wasn't any salt in it, and grabbed a half teaspoon looking amount in my hand (hmm sounds like too much, looking at the recipe's 1/4 teaspoon requirement) and scattered and stirred it in. The pans were ready.

Good thing I set the timer conservative, @26 min these were about to turn the corner. They did have the large crumb associated with old school cornbread. The taste ,while a relief after the last batch-o cornbread-trauma, was a bit bland for all that buttermilk. Still I'll definitely be test-driving  that recipe at least one more time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Hey, you didn't smell that stuff. Well whadya expect? This batch of experimental cornbread was made with two kinds of English Blue Cheese, Stilton Blue, and Shropshire Blue. The Shropshire Blue looks amazing, with a bright cheddar-like orange color and bark bluish veins (that didn't photograph well).

 Looks can be deceiving. The Shropshire Blue "Cheddar", when taste tested (a small piece about the size of a pea) had an excellent initial taste, that seemed to grow stronger and stronger for about a minute. Fortunately it peaked and mellowed off. Even without a beverage it was ok, but I think I'd have a cracker with it next time. I bet it would be quite the desirable wine accessory. I smelled the Stilton Blue before I had completely unwrapped it. I decided to wait and see how it was in the cornbread, and began a Reuben-style hedge.

 Ow, I was way too heavily invested in this outcome. With so much focused on this batch, I got so tense I couldn't eat more than a few bites of dinner before my throat closed up and I couldn't eat any more.

 The Stilton was strong enough I can only say, "I'm glad I don't have to touch that stinky stuff anymore." Though the Shropshire Blue was better, there is still the obvious question, "Why do this to cornbread that was really much better without the addition of these expensive and ultimately very unpleasant ingredients?"

Yup, this may be the extent of my scary cheese cornbread adventures, an expensive and sobering lesson. How can stinky cornbread be? Hopefully, only by accident.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Well I gots ta call it something, and in searching for red cabbage facts I discovered that russians eat seven times as much cabbage per person as we do. So here's an excelent way to get yer dose-o-cabbage. My favorite cabbage lore is the Roman myth that red cabbages sprang from the tears of Lycurgus king of the Edonians.

 we'll call it Russian cause it sounds cool but history seems to reveal that cabbage came from everywhere. It also has red onions (everywhere) and black beans (a variety of kidney bean, central and south america.) Whatever you call it, this purplish batter yields a bluish cornbread that looks like a mutant blue berry muffin. Taste wise however this is more of a corned-beef  accessory than a replacement scone.

 I wanted it to be the elusive "Vegetarian Pork-chop," but while interesting and tasty this one fell short of the Cornbread-Grail. Still, there will be a recipe card and some mix notes for this odd but yummy cornbread as soon as I can get them organized.

Friday, November 4, 2011


 I guess it had to happen eventually, there is actually something that doesn't show marked improvement from the addition of Gruyere. Not to belittle the Gruyere, a true prince among cheeses, but oddly enough it didn't seem to add muchness to the cornbread.

The cornbread in question was somewhat beset by spurious variations, but nothing tragic. The complications of this last batch weren't as severe as the Swiss-style batch, none the less the grated fresh corn bit me on the ankle again.

 The power of the bacon mmm. I still was tempted by the call of the bacon fat (uh,yum?) While it did seem to add something, the louder sizzle at the beginning was really more noticeable than any bacony goodness imparted to the cornbread this time. To be truthful, it seemed to muddy the impact of the cheeses and adobo.

  Once again the sweetness and bulk of the creamed corn seem like they would have been superior to the fresh grated corn. The other big surprise this time was how little impact the teaspoon of adobo sauce added to some of the mini-loaves had (this time with no chipotle slices.) All in all though this was another sauerkraut and cheese enhanced success, as they released well and there were no survivor pones from this batch.

    I still look forward to adding the last of the Gruyere shreds onto our next pizza, but the next Gruyere I get will probably be for the cheese straws (where it rules).   

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Yah,you-betcha! As if Swatches, Victorinox and Ricola weren't enough. Courtesy of Chateau Gruyere and Clausen's Sauerkraut a new star shines on the crown of The Anaglyphic Pone King tonight. Cornbread has now officially been Swiss-stylized.

I was a little bummed out at having no baby pictures for this batch, cause it really did have some photogenic ingredients. Fresh ears of white corn, a pair of almost purple red onions, and the slab of cheese nearly the color of the Chateau Gruyere. Add to that the bacon, buttermilk, sauerkraut, eggs, creamed-corn,and cornmeal and you've got quite a crowd going on the stove.

 Yeah, that's how there came to be no baby pix. I was a little scatterbrained, and had to back up and go down the  list and see what was missing more than once. First, the fresh corn grated off the cob didn't look like the 15oz of cream style corn I usually use. To keep from coming up short in the mini-loaf pans, I added half a can of creamed-white-corn and things looked better.

From experience I expected the bacon to make a flavorful but heavy corn bread. With that in mind, I made only one pan with bacon and bacon drippings. The other used only corn oil. Granted the sauerkraut could hold it's own with bacon, but the chances are the Gruyere would be pushed into the background. Keeping the oil straight was a little picky but not hard.

 In the pans the batter still didn't seem quite right to me. I ran down the list in my head, and got to sauerkraut before I noticed I hadn't opened it yet. I put 3/4cup or so onto a plate. I squeezed it into a narrow row, and cut it short with a knife. Then after squeezing the juice out and fluffing it back up, I added the kraut to the mini-loaf pans at the same the half-a-pound of crumbled crispy bacon and 4oz of grated Gruyere were getting added.

Gruyere is a harder cheese and doesn't bake the same as cheddar or Swiss. The pieces seem to hold together even in baking and give a "noisey" surface. Well there's no recipe card yet, but this story needed to get told. I reckon I can get back to the card, and maybe even an ingredient picture. No hurry. Like I told my wife, "It's hardly delicious at all."


Sunday, October 9, 2011


  Well whaddaya know? If ya don't scorch the regular canola oil, it doesn't make accusatory aromas. After writing the last post we did eat all of the slightly less than dreamlike last batch. My quality control consultant (wife) said she thought it was good. Well it was good, but I would have preferred great.

  The next batch is out of the oven, and the subtle flavor of toasted cheese was mmmuch better than a hint of scorched oil. The faint odor coming from the pre-heated mini-loaf pans was faint and slightly sweet. Ok it was pleasant, not corn oil pleasant but very nice. The oven is cooling, and the kitchen window is open to let out some of the heat. This time I find the aroma tantalizing.

  My apologies to the canola. It really is good enough for cornbread (in a pinch).

Saturday, October 8, 2011


 Duh! I suppose I shoulda took the hint from the heart smarter yogurt/olive oil version I referred to briefly in the Bacon Sauerkraut article. Changing so many things at a whack muddied the water. I knew it was sitting in the ditch when I woke up, but the whole neighborhood was new to me.

 Ok so it works good in sketti, I still know nothing about olive oils. I've had a chance to try several other cooking oils. The best was the refined canola I got to re-season a black iron skillet. Articles I read recommended the lowest hydrogen content available, and commented that this also related to smoke point. 

 The grocery store had a number of oil choices. You could tell who had the high smoke point cause they bragged about it. You could also tell they were proud of em price wise too, as they started at three times the price of regular veg-oil and went right outta sight.

 I settled on the filtered canola (450f smoke point) for my frying pan. At just under 13 bucks, it was a few cents cheaper than three times what twice as much as regular vegetable oil cost. It worked great on the frying pan, and even burning off it didn't smoke as bad as I was led to believe it would. The avocado oil was more expensive still and you got even less. I've fried with it before (550f smoke point if I remember correctly) it did taste great and didn't smoke up the apartment.

 I only used a little of the refined canola on the pan and saved the rest. I tried regular canola, (two different kinds) peanut oil, regular vegetable oil, and corn oil. Jury's still out on the peanut oil, but both the regular canola and the regular vegetable scorched pretty easy. While I was stirring in the cornmeal and preheating the pans, the oil got hot enough to fume in an unappetizing manner. If I'd been cooking eggs, I'd have stopped right then and wiped the oil out and tried again (now I know). But no! I went forward thinking, "I've seen bacon fat that looked hotter make good cornbread"(maybe).

 I've had better luck with corn oil. It doesn't seem as heat sensitave. It's delicate aroma is easy to smell before it goes sad. I could probably do better with the other oils if I was more cautious. Corn oil has made the most batches of excellent cornbread while filling the house with a wake you up in the night craving cornbread smell. On the occasions when I was out of corn oil, the high dollar canola produced a superior cornbread as well. So surprise really good oil does make really good cornbread, and though more delicate corn oil runs a close second. Hey, oils well that ends well.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


 Ok, so I've been holding out on ya. I was just being careful. I hesitated to trot out a new recipe just because it worked excellent once. It was however, good enough that I felt  I should get some sort of award! This led to the founding of "The Order Of The Anaglyphic Pone King." We also dedicated a section @ The Flatware County General Store to cornbread related items. Admittedly  it's only two mugs now, but we're working on some other stuff.

 The first run of the Reuben Style recipe yielded great cornbread, but was short on notes and pictures. This time was better, with careful notes and even a baby picture. Considering the moisture content of the sauerkraut, I used only half of the 15 oz can of cream style corn. At the time my only available onion was already sliced up (making grating not an option). This was ok since grating onion is very juicy. The sauerkraut (even squeezed), and the cream style corn already had me a little concerned.

  Even with a cup of sauerkraut, the two tablespoons of onion minced (instead of about a hand-full grated and squeezed), and the  half a can of cream style corn, left my batter a little short. The consistency  was normal enough, but I ran out of batter when my next to last mini-loaf had only half enough. A little quick spoon shoveling settled this discrepancy. The next rub came when I got to the end of the corned beef two loaves short of 16. This time I liked the distribution of ingredients well enough to see what a couple of vegetarian mini-loaves were like (excellent, by the way).

 At 28 minutes they had begun to pull-away. The browning, apparent at edges, didn't seem like it had gone near as far as it could. I stayed and watched through the oven window to make sure they didn't get too dark and let them cook.


                                                                                     At 31 minutes the edges looked like they might go from brown to black soon, so I opened the oven to check, Woo-Hoo. Considering how big they got in process they didn't seem very tall.

 After cooling near the window for 5 minutes they all released perfectly. The crust was beautiful and the first one was gone before I had a chance to really appreciate just how well I liked it. The crumb to crust ratio was spot on. With a bowl of bean and bacon soup, the next three disappeared in short order. After they cooled (while the soup warmed) I layered the rest up in a cloth lined bowl. They were a hit with everyone who tried them. Fortunately two pieces lasted till dinner time the next day. They went great with butter beans and a tomato, okra, corn, dish, mmm.

Monday, August 29, 2011


----------------AS FIRST SEEN IN THE FLATWARE COUNTY GAZETTE---------------

You tell em Flintstien. Who needs complicated mnemonic devices to remember the pronunciations, chipotle and Adobo? They're only two of my favorite "Kentucky Cornbread" accessories so far.

Busted! Alright, you got me. I have been seein' another blog on the side again. I started a couple of months ago browsing cookbooks and the web, comparing cornbread recipes. After examining a dozen or so, I found the recipe I liked best and had my way with it. With only a few changes Betty Seals's "Kentucky Cornbread" recipe  became "Kentucky Cornbread 2.0."

  Starting from this Foundation Pone I have tried a number of variations, and made a point of taking notes and making lots of pictures. So many of the experimental cornbread recipes were worth making again that I began the "Cornbread Chronicle" blog to chart my progress and share the better recipes. Unfortunately the research has been running well ahead of the articles.

 If muffin tins or mini-loaf pans are used this recipe yields four types of cornbread, a few plain ones, a few with just cheese, some with a teaspoon of adobo sauce, a generous quantity of finely sliced chipotle peppers and cheddar, and finally a few with jalapeños and plenty of cheddar.

                                                              MIX NOTES

 The 3/4 cup of corn oil is all the oil used in this recipe. It is shared out to add 1teaspoon or slightly less to each cell of the loaf pans or muffin tins, before adding the remaining oil to the batter. I like to preheat the oiled tins before adding the batter, but set them aside for now while you get the batter and accessories ready.

  About half a medium sized onion is all you'll need. Gather it up and squeeze out the excess juice. Dispose of the juice and add the squeezed out onion to the other wet ingredients and mix well.   If you haven't yet, begin preheating the oven to 425°F. Mix notes continued after accessories prep.


I use about 1/4 cup
 of nacho slices minus their centers  (4 to 6 slices per mini-loaf). Pour the chipotle peppers and the adobo sauce into a bowl, and select 3 or  4 peppers.

Split em, scrape em out, and slice em as fine as possible (mine approach 1/8 inch wide). Alright, got all your ingredients on little dishes? Good, if the oven has preheated, it's time to put those oiled pans in to preheat.

The pans don't take long to heat up but you should have time to stir in the cornmeal and mix well. I use a quarter cup measuring cup to parcel out the batter. It works great. This recipe makes about 4 cups.


The distribution of the jalapenos isn't too picky. Just get plenty in each one that gets them. The chipotle peppers are a little more sensitive. The picture shows more than enough for the five chipotle-loaves. Too many in one area can be a little too hot. Slightly less than a teaspoon of adobo is plenty per chipotle mini-loaf.  A little more than tablespoon  of cheese will probably use up most of the 3 or 4 oz of shredded and or cubed cheese. Below is a picture of the batter covered with chipotle, cheddar, and adobo, ready to be carefully submerged with a fork .

Bake at 425°for 25-28 min and cool for 5 min.  I let mine cool and dry a little while on edge. To preserve their crunch, store them in a bowl or basket lined with a clean cloth, carefully separating and covering   them.    
 We did eat every crumb.                                                

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I poured the cereal in the pans first to figure how much I needed. It took about a box and a half of Cinnamon Cheerios to fill my two 9x12in cake pans about 1 1/4 inches deep. This made eight bags of six squares, wrapped in pairs in wax-paper, plus a couple to snack on.

To begin with, Pam (though it didn't appear in the ingredients photo) was very handy in this process. Rice crispy treats are so familiar that a lot of you probably already know the recipe by heart, it's also on the marshmallow bag. Warning, sliver the peaches, measure the cereal, and prep your pans while the butter (I used margarine) is melting. To prep the pans, I sprayed some Pam in them, not a lot, since it's only to make the wax-paper stick. I sprayed a smaller amount onto the upper surface of the wax-paper and wiped it around, sticking the wax-paper down smoother and depositing a thin coat of oil to minimize sticking while not making the treats greasy.


Start by melting 1/2 stick of butter or margarine in a fairly big pot. Then add the marshmallows and melt them, on low heat. I added the slivered, dried peaches to the molten margarine/marshmallow mixture and stirred it till the marshmallows got hot again, then added the cereal. Since the dried peaches were already mixed into the marshmallow/margarine mix they spread through the cereal with it for a pretty uniform distribution. After stirring till I was pretty sure that all the peaches and marshmallow had been mixed in, I dumped half into each of my lined, lightly oiled pans.

 Herding the sticky mass around and mashing it into all the corners and maintaining a fairly even thickness was made much easier by a mixing spoon with a little Pam sprayed on lightly then wiped nearly off. When it looks good, cover with non-oiled wax-paper and allow to cool and firm up.

After they cooled, I flipped the pans (one at a time) onto a cutting board. The top wax-paper was now underneath. I peeled the oily wax-paper off and carefully trashed the oily mess. Now the Pam goes on the blade of a fairly big knife. Once again use a bit of paper towel or napkin and spread a thin coat over the blade.

  Even though there's more cereal in these than the recipe on the marshmallow bag called for, they're still sticky. The wax paper makes them easier to eat without getting sticky fingers, and makes them easier to get out of the bag whole.

Mmmm, peachy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I know they're not coming out in order, this is actually "Kentucky Cornbread 2.4," but this one couldn't wait. While this was not the most heart-smart cornbread so far. That one didn't get a number, yogurt instead of sour cream, extra virgin olive oil instead of corn oil, yuck, and it took as long as good cornbread dammit. A pound of bacon and its drippings helped to make this one of the most tasty in the "Kentucky Cornbread" series so far. Sauerkraut, banana peppers, and extra sharp cheddar rounded out what turned out to be one of our favorites. The crust was crispy and beautiful, and they all released from the mini-loaf pans perfectly. Like a number of the other first draft recipes I've done, this one had silly illustrations. Anyway, here's a picture of the set of ingredients (turned out I was out of jalapeños, but the bacon was cooked, so this picture will have to do for now) followed by Helmut's first draft:

                             Ok, you got the recipe, at least the list part, but when I gave a print-out to a friend I realized that there should be a little more to it. For one thing, the bacon drippings and corn oil should total 3/4cup, you should hold off adding the oil/drippings to the batter till you have used some of it. Add 1/2 to 3/4 of a teaspoon from it to each cell of your pans before preheating them. While the pans are heating up, stir the remaining oil/drippings into the batter. Half fill each cell of the hot, oiled pans with batter and add the bacon, peppers, and cheese.

What the hey, I took more pictures than I thought I'd need, and this was real good cornbread, so here's its baby pictures. The first shows add-in distribution. A pound is a lot of bacon, even counting the nibble factor, but I wanted each one to have a good bit. I went for breaking it up and adding it to each mini-loaf.

The peppers were amazing, and I'm glad I was out of jalapeños. The banana peppers were a little lighter, and the sauerkraut and bacon were doing things too good to mask. The ones without peppers were great for breakfast.                        
 Once I was satisfied with the distribution, I mashed everything under the surface as gently as I could with a fork. I tried to keep the cheese away from the edges, but I don't think it really mattered much.                         
The next picture is supposed to show how the edge is browned and has  pulled away, as the slightly shrunken loaves begin to release from the pan. The pull-away, the color, and a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf coming out dry, are all signs that the cornbread is done. The picture blurred but I was ready to eat and felt silly taking so many pictures of cornbread. (I'll replace it when I can.)
After cooling on racks for 5 min. (in this case, the cake pans they were turned out into next), the mini-loaves were set on edge to continue to cool and dry a little. All too often cornbread is wrapped in foil or placed in plastic bags. This allows the moisture migrating from the interior of the loaves to concentrate at the surface and ruin the crunch. To store them while preserving their crunchy crust, they can be placed in a basket (or bowl, works for me) lined with a clean dish cloth or hand towel and wrapped, separated, and covered with same. It sometimes takes more than one cloth. It works so well that a day or even two days later, cornbread loaves stored this way in the fridge, when placed on a wire rack in the toaster oven and warmed, have a good crunchy crust--almost like they just came out of the pan.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


This is the cornerstone of all our present pone, since so far all my cornbread experiments have been variations on this recipe. I looked at about a dozen recipes and settled on a variation of Betty Seale's Kentucky Cornbread that uses buttermilk instead of sour cream. The recipe I started with came from the Houston, Texas Fair Oaks Baptist Church's 1996 "Favorite Recipes Cookbook." Betty's recipe, below, calls for 1 carton or cup of sour cream and minced onion. Apart from these changes and picking a temperature, we stayed pretty close to her recipe.
I found out that the same bacteria that make buttermilk`s twangy taste also eat up most of the milk sugar. Cool I really like that slight twang in cornbread anyway.