From Corn to Table

Over the years we have grown a flint corn. [The corn is to the left. The broom corn is to the right. Sweet corn is what you eat as corn-on-the-cob. Flint corn is what you grind to make cornmeal.]This year we are using it for ourselves as cornmeal. Here is the process:

Take an ear of corn.
Oh! Look at the color variation on the backside of that one!
Put the corn sheller on it, twist push from the tip to the back of the cob.
Eventually you get a bucket full of corn kernels…
…and a container of empty cobs.
The kernels we take and grind and get cornmeal.

We have used the cornmeal several ways this year – as polenta, as cornmeal mush, and as cornbread. Polenta and cornmeal mush are just cornmeal mixed with a liquid and cooked on the stovetop until the liquid is absorbed. Polenta is good made with milk or broth. Mush tends to be made with water and served as a breakfast dish.

Here are the recipes for polenta and cornmeal mush and for 2 kinds of cornbread. Enjoy!

Cornbread recipes

We have recently been using cornmeal. Here are 2 cornbread recipes that we have used over the years.

Basic Corn Bread:

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, opt.
  • 2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder, opt.

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then combine. (OR mix dry ingredients; then add wet ingredients and combine.)
  • Pour into greased 9 X 9 pan and bake 25 minutes.
  • Serve hot with meal; or with butter, honey, milk, syrup, jam or jelly.

Variations:

  • To use sour milk (buttermilk, yogurt, etc.) in place of milk, reduce baking powder to 2 tsp. and add 1 tsp baking soda.
  • For all the liquid ingredients, substitute 1 egg, 3/4 cup of milk, and 1 cup of cream style corn. This makes a more corny cornbread.

Notes

Original recipe is from More-With-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre.  Found at https://becomingmorewithless.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/basic-corn-bread/

Moist, Sweet Cornbread

Having a little more fat and a little more sweetener makes this a moist sweet cornbread.

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted or at least softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, sour milk, thinned yogurt

Dry Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt, opt.

Instructions

  • Combine wet ingredients.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix together.
  • Pour into greased 8×8 pan. Bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes or until done.
  • Serve hot with butter, jam, or jelly.

Notes

The sugar seems a lot for the quantity of grains.  And the extra fat does make it a moister cornbread than some.

Polenta and Cornmeal Mush

Based on my observations and looking at the recipes, it seems that Polenta and Cornmeal Mush are very similar. Both use some cornmeal – 1 part to some form of liquid – 2-4 parts. They are stirred or whisked on the stovetop over heat until the liquid is absorbed. The main difference seems to be in how they are served. Polenta tends to be used as the starch with a main dish, similar to how rice would be used. It tends to be made with milk or broth. It goes under things. Cornmeal Mush tends to be the main dish for a breakfast and would be served with syrup, molasses or honey. It tends to be made with water. So here is the combined recipe:

Polenta or Cornmeal Mush

Cornmeal is mixed with a liquid and served under the main dish or as the main dish.

Ingredients

  • 2-4 cups milk, broth, or water
  • 1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, opt.

Instructions

  • Combine the cornmeal, liquid, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  • When the mixture comes to a light boil, turn the heat to medium low, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the cornmeal. Whisk every few minutes, so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Add more liquid if necessary to keep the polenta/mush from becoming overly thick.
  • Serve with cheese or sweetener: honey, syrup, molasses or sugar.

Notes

This can be made with 1 part cornmeal to 2-4 parts liquid.  Using 1 part cornmeal to 4 parts milk makes a really creamy polenta.  I think that you end up with about how many parts of liquid you used – 4 cups, end up with 4 cups of polenta or cornmeal mush.
Original polenta recipe is from   https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/chicken-and-wild-mushroom-skillet/

Animal Glimpses in January

Here are the animals in their winter environs:

Ted, the calf, resting
Butter and Honey lounging outside
Goats nibbling hay
Goats nibbling hay
Goat close up
Goat close up
Barred Rock Hen
Barred rock hen wandering
Piggie close up
Piggie close up