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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dear Cornbread Diaries...

On a recent trip to the Smokies, I stumbled upon a Lodge Cast Iron store in the Pigeon Forge, TN area. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. OK, forget the sports cars, diamonds, silver, and gold...just don't try to take away the cast iron family jewels collection I have long been accumulating over the years!

Here's a picture of one of the older ones...thanks, Nannie...I've been taking excellent care of it. Dates back to the Martin Stove & Range Company of Florence, Alabama. And believe it or not, there are folks all up and down the Net who dabble in Swapping & Meeting, and Showing & Telling all about their cast iron siblings. I just like to use mine.
And here's a picture of the newest addition...a round 8 inch cast iron serving skillet with a wooden place holder. I did splurge and buy four of these little jewels...excellent for serving individual portions of something sizzlin' at the table. I don't know if I will ever stop adding to the family.

And, I do agree with the Lodge people...there are three reasons why everyone should learn how to use an iron skillet and know how to make a really good cornbread:

  1. Cornbread is easy to make. Stir the batter up, pour into a skillet and bake.
  2. Cornbread is the best accompaniment to beans and greens for sopping up the "pot likker."
  3. Cornbread is an easy way to transform a simple meal into a rib sticking dinner.  
Till next time...Di

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dear Cornbread Diaries...

My imagination really runs wild when I think about cornbread and Arkansas summertime veggies! There's nothing like mixing the cornbread batter with seasonal produce and coming up with some interesting and delicious cornbread concoctions! Today I have four wonderful lookin' zucchini squash in my fridge and I am really in the mood for some Zucchini Fritters!

I hope I never forget how to make Zucchini Fritters:
 Take four good lookin' zucchini squash, cut the ends off, and peel. Leave a little skin on for more nutrients. Dice the zucchini, add a little salt and pepper, and put in a pot of water to boil until tender. Then, drain and mash them up good. I use a colander and push the extra liquid out as I smash with a rubber spatula.

Mix the dry ingredients: 3/4 cup of cornmeal, 1/4 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. I do love using my Nannie's Fire King mixing bowl to do this and I know she's overseeing these little fritters as I stir! Now make a hole or well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add 1 slightly beaten egg and about a 1/2 cup of milk. Mix a little more and then add about a half of a medium onion (chopped) along with the smashed zucchini. Stir a little more and... 

Let the frying begin! Heat a little canola oil on medium high. Cook about 3-4 minutes on each side, drain on paper towels, and serve with this delicious sauce...

Mix 1 cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup of honey, 1 teaspoon (more or less) of cayenne, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 4 sliced scallions...these moist and scrumptious fritters are To Di For!!!

Tomorrow is another day...and I'm already thinking about my next cornbread fritter concoctions. The corn crops are in and okra will be harvested soon...anything goes with cornbread!  

Well, that's as far as my imagination will go for now...sweet cornbread dreams.  Love, Di

P.s. Maybe some strawberry fritters...