This has been quite a year. I’ve been away from this space more this year than since I began this blogging journey. Let’s end this year with some thoughts, my feelings going into 2017 and cornbread.
My last post ruffled some feathers, which was strange because I’ve always been very vocal about the events that transpire around us. As an African American woman, raising two children and just trying to overall exist in today’s society, I’ve had a first hand relationship with racism. Unfortunately, it’s never NOT been a part of my life, as much as I abhor its very existence.
Food and the dinner table are where I’ve always found comfort, which is reflective in how I write about food and ultimately what shows up here.
If my feelings offend you, I can only offer the question of why. That would be for you to ask yourself.
There are a lot of issues whirling around us, here in the U.S and beyond, to ignore them would make me part of the problem. I believe in being a part of the solution. My hope is to give you more out of what you read than a recipe. Going into 2017, when a lot of us are unsure of how the policies and new transitions will ultimately affect us, I’m more compelled now than ever to share not just my feelings but also those of others and will continue to do so over the comforts of food.
2016 was a great year professionally, in cooking, writing (and software ). It pushed me even more behind the kitchen door, spending time with people who really pour their hearts and souls into the food they prepare and the lives they impact. As well as, exposing the reality of what it takes to be a “professional” in this business. Something that I’ve known for as long as I can remember, it’s a difficult, often unrewarding struggle. It’s tireless and never-ending, often without instagram fame or hashtag recognition, you tube likes or lucrative sponsorships.
For this reason, I’ve never given restaurant reviews. So, to whom it may concern, please stop emailing me asking me to do so.
I wish I could name all the people I’ve crossed paths with this year, those who have opened their doors and offered me a seat at the table. Road trips and country diners, Bourbon Street with my best gals to eating fried chicken with French Laundry chefs. Cooking at my first James Beard Foundation Sunday Supper, holding back tears as I tell the New York Times the story of my grandmother’s life and why Sunday dinner is so important to me.
I’m hopeful that 2017 will continue to allow me to cross paths with all the wonderful people I’ve met and have yet to meet.
Perhaps over Sunday Supper.
By now, you’ve probably noticed the difference; Southern Soufflé got a face-lift. She also got a divorce, from blogger, and married WordPress, whose promised not to crash when popular websites direct traffic her way. This could all be a lie but we shall see.
Even with the new look, things are still the same. Change is always good, but at our core we always remain the same person just with a little extra or in some cases a little less. That reminder of where we were and how we got here helps order the path we take forward. It will order my path in 2017.
This cornbread, at its core, is the same recipe that I normally use .This time I browned the butter and added a little bit more sugar, yes sugar. However, it still remains the same moist hunk of cornbread that I remember growing up. Just a little more flavorful with a nutty essence in each bite and tinted a little more brown than yellow.
Here’s to 2017, moving forward and cornbread.
Brown Butter Cornbread
Prep Time: 25mins Cook Time: 30-40mins Yield: 6 servings
½ cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
1 cup butter milk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal (not self rising)
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°
On the stove top in a large skillet ( I used the same 12 in cast iron skillet that I bake the cornbread in) melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Continue until the butter turns deep brown, watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove skillet from the heat and pour in sugar. Mix sugar with the browned butter in the skillet.
In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, cornmeal, flour and salt. Mix well to combine all ingredients. Next pour in the brown butter sugar mixture and mix the ingredients to incorporate. Pour batter back into skillet and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until top of cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly (about 5 minutes) before slicing.
*Mixing the sugar in the skillet with the brown butter, then pouring this into the cornbread batter, leaves behind bits of sugar in the skillet. So while the cornbread is cooking in the oven, it cooks sugar into the crust, giving you a sweet crusty wedge of cornbread that can’t be beat.*