Cornbread: Then and Now


In Mrs. Johnson’s second grade class, we made our own Thanksgiving recipe book.  Each child contributed a recipe that they made up themselves. This is exactly as big of a disaster as you might imagine.

Without further ado, I present my first recipe ever:

Clearly, I was at the head of the class.  Cornbread in 2 minutes and 4 seconds!?! I can hear all of you running to crack your eggs into your muffin tins right now.

On the next page, my BFF Johanna shows her stripes early in her recipe, which calls for a very particular arrangement of the accoutrements:

Unlike most mashed potato recipes, the mashing of the potatoes is the easy part here. The hard part: the precise arrangement of fruits (?!) and vegetables around the potatoes.

We could go on and on (there’s a gravy recipe that calls for chocolate, coffee beans, and dirt), so let’s stop here and improve a little on the cornbread recipe. Of course we can’t possibly improve on the cooking time, so I tried to improve on taste. Pretty sure I succeeded.

Fresh corn, basil, and jalapeno cornbread, adapted from Bon Appetit

-1 1/2 c unsweetened plain almond milk (any kind of milk will do)
-3 T fresh lemon juice (the combination of this and the above is a substitute for buttermilk)
-3 eggs
-1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
-2 c stone ground cornmeal
-1 c flour
-1/2 c sugar
-4 t baking powder
-1 t salt
-1/2 c butter (I used Earth Balance)
-3 ears of corn
-1 jalapeno pepper
cooking spray


Equipment needed: whisk, large mixing bowl, food processor, spatula or spoon, baking pan (I used a 9″ pie pan)

Let’s do this:

Preparation: remove corn kernels from cob, dice jalapeno pepper, chop up your basil, and cut butter into cubes. Combine the milk and lemon juice, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes until curdled.  Spray your baking pan with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the newly made buttermilk, basil, and eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk.


Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to the bowl of your food processor and process until combined (about 10-15 seconds). Add the butter and process again until a coarse meal forms.


Add corn kernels and process for about 10-15 seconds (some corn kernels will still be visible.


Empty the contents of the food processor into your mixing bowl with the milk mixture. Stir to combine, then add jalapeno and stir until distributed.


Bake cornbread until top is golden, about 40 minutes.


Enjoy with the last of your summer gazpacho. Our house will be seeing this recipe a lot now that football season is coming – hello cornbread and vegetarian chili!!!


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5 thoughts on “Cornbread: Then and Now

  1. leukothea says:

    I need to see the recipe for gravy that calls for coffee beans and dirt! I love it!

  2. Johanna says:

    I am the worst, and am so behind. LOVE this! Totally forgot about that recipe book! ha!

  3. […] we host dinner for non-vegetarians, chili is my go-to meal. Served with some cornbread, it’s so filling that most people don’t even notice its vegetarian. Plus, it’s […]

  4. […] Since it is Lent, I decided to come up with a meatless meal.  First up is jalapeno basil cornbread – I took my inspiration from this recipe. […]

  5. […] Since it is Lent, I decided to come up with a meatless meal.  First up is jalapeno basil cornbread – I took my inspiration from this recipe. […]

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