The Great Plotnik

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Kawn verus Cone: The Corn of the Realm

Yes, Hanky Girl is right, we have all been in rooms with bodies lying on the floor in the morning for which NERT Training would have been superfluous, because when the NERT volunteer appeared at the door and shouted: EMERGENCY TEAM! EVERYONE WHO CAN HEAR MY VOICE PLEASE WALK TOWARDS ME NOW! the answer would have been "....Dude. D'you got any chips?"

It's Sunday morning, rain, ARGHH. However, there is good news:

Plotnik made two pots of chile the other night and Ducknik made corn bread. But neither Plot nor Duck was satisfied with that corn bread, Ducknik especially, because her Mom's family was from Kentucky, where corn bread matters.

Plotnik is from Stiletto City. When his grandparents said 'cornbread,' they meant rye bread from Diamond Bakery, rolled in corn meal to give texture to the crust.

The problem for Ducknik is she grew up in New Shmork, which is to say her tastes are as Yankee as Joe DiMaggio. When Plottie lived in the Big Shmapple, he too, like Ducknik, grew to love the oversized corn muffins you buy as you climb out of the subway on a cool November morning, steamy, sweet and light.

Now, a true Southerner, like Pickle, or a Yankee who thinks she's a Southerner, like JJ-aka-PP, will scoff condescendingly at a piece of overly light and sweet cornbread, because sweetness makes it non-authentic.

Of course, Southerners will then spread their cornbread with strawberry jam so sweet an alarm bell goes off in Dr. Flossem's Office, and they'll drink it with insulin-damaging sweetsweetsweet tea, but put sugar in the corn bread and you may as well be Abe Lincoln.

Southern corn bread, as far as Plotnik can piece it together, is true soul food -- poor people's food -- corn meal, baking powder, maybe some buttermilk if you've got it, and salt. That's it. If you don't eat it within ten minutes of pulling it from the oven, it will be hard as a rock and dense as a dog.

This is not good enough for The Great Ducknik, the Queen of Pecan Pie, the Empress of Sour Cream Lemon Pie and the Czarina of Almond Crust Cherry Pie. So she decided to turn her hand towards perfecting cornbread.

A peek at Mark Bittman and a few additions and changes later, one shot is all it took.

This is really good stuff. It's not too light and it's not too sweet, but it's light enough and it's sweet enough. It's not New Yawk and it's not Cane-tucky, it's not Kawn and it ain't Cone. What it is is delicious. Plotnik thinks this cornbread will become Sanchez Street Corn Bread, the corn of the realm. (Especially if she adds jalapenos next time.) There's a slice or two left but not for long.


At 12:38 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

This is a great chili and corn bread day. I had already ate my first lunch when I read this, so it shouldn't have affected me. But it did.

Is the corn bread recipe easy to post (or destined to become a Sanchez St. Secret)? Putting jalapeƱos in it sounds like a really nice touch.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Hmmmmmm ~ I use that little Jiffy box for cornbread, I'm sure this is far superior.

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous jj-aka-pp said...

Yes, buttermilk!!!
And, no, I don't like it when it turns in to a brick. Moist is important!!!


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