I kissed a lot of cornbread frogs before I landed on this perfect Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread. This cornbread has crispy edges, a super moist crumb, flavorful (thanks to the cheese, cornmeal and jalapeño), it’s a teeny bit sweet and is delicious for days after.
Before we dive in, let’s discuss what I love and want from cornbread.
Cornbread history has it that it first started with Native Americans grinding corn into cornmeal and mixing it with water and cooking it over a fire. It was simple back then. It evolved over time; people added buttermilk, leavening, pork fat, salt…all the good things. They often times cooked it on a gardening hoe, over an open flame, hence the name “hoe cake.”
I’m dropping in from Taos, New Mexico. Currently, I’m at this brewery, sitting outside, looking out a bunch of snow-capped mountains. The DJ is playing a trumpet to a Fly Lo song and it’s weird and funny and awesome. It’s beautiful here. I knew it would be beautiful, but it’s like a million times more beautiful than I expected.
These muffins were from last week, when I was wanting to make something for breakfast that I could shove in my purse for my flight. I’m a grandma. I’ve also been working with a freelance client on some recipes and she’s really into spelt flour. I wasn’t super duper familiar but I really love its nutty flavor. It’s grown on me big time.
There are a few things that I did differently with these muffins. For one, I always find that strawberries are kinda soggy in muffins. ME NO LIKEE. So, I did this thing where I dehydrate them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Feel free to skip this step if you’re strapped for time or are feeling sort of lazy. Whatever, the muffins will still be awesome.
I picked up a new hobby. Pottery. Wheel throwing, to be precise. It started as a fun little idea of “trying something new,” which then transpired into me being amongst 300 (!!) people signing up at 7am on a random Saturday morning. (Yes, 300 people showed up to sign up for art classes.) There was a lottery for the pottery class I wanted and I was chosen! I never win anything. Ever. So, I obviously went to my first class, which was this past Monday, and well, let’s just say I had an accident.
It was a scene straight out of a romantic comedy and I was playing one of those dumb awkward girls who are cute and happen to bump into everything. (This doesn’t happen in real life, guys.) So there I was, pushing the wheel with my right foot, attempting to center my piece of clay, except I was unknowingly working with a faulty wheel, so when I went to press the clay down it flew off the wheel, hitting my bucket of water, hitting other students and pouring all over electrical cords. My stern (sort of of mean-ish) teacher kept saying in her Eastern European accent, “Dis has never ever happened. Thirty yearrrrz of teaching, never happened. I can’t believe it. Thirty yearzzz.”
So is pottery going well? I’d say it could be going better. Wheel throwing is awkward, it hurts my back and I apparently am dangerous. Burning bananas and folding them into a batter is what I’m better at. Doing this sort of activity is familiar, comforting and tastes delicious. I’m going to stick with pottery to see if I can get better, but if you sit next to me, you might need to wear a helmet. You have been warned.