Oh, friends. I knew it couldn't last long. Three tasty meals right out of the gate? It was time for something bad. I just wasn't expecting it to be the cornbread.
I love cornbread. I don't have it all that often--it's one of those foods that I forget I like until I find it at a restaurant or someone else makes it. People often serve it with chili, but I associate it with maple syrup. My family makes maple syrup every spring, and when my sister and I were little, our classes took field trips to our house to see the process first-hand. The field trips always ended with a snack of warm, fluffy cornbread and maple syrup at our kitchen table. Understandably, I was excited to return to this snack of my youth.
This was not that cornbread.
And really, the recipe should have given me a hint. All you do is mix almost two cups of boiling water with three cups of cornmeal, and a pinch of salt. No rising agent, no sweetener. The only flavoring is the salt pork drippings,* which you use to grease the pan.
I went in with an open mind, I really did. I even pressed my hand into the dough like Ma Ingalls did, or so the cookbook informed me. I tried it hot out of the oven with cheese and soup, and the next morning with strawberry jam. But nothing could help that cornbread escape the dismal fact that it was, in Josh's words, "cornmeal and water mushed together."
I think I'll stick to the twenty-first century method for my cornbread.
*Remember those? You saved them for a reason!