So this month of the Canadian Food Experience project, and this month Valerie from a Canadian Foodie challenged us to write about a cherished Canadian Food. The Canadian Food Experience project brings together food bloggers, from across the country, to share their collective regional and cultural food experiences.
Did you say cherished recipe? This is tough I’ve got so many that I love and make really well that it’s hard to pick one. I’m not sure that this is Canadian but it’s a recipe that I’ve perfected since I started living here, and it is made with corn which was traded by the native people with the Europeans so… work with me on this.
My first cornbread experienced happened on my travels through the southern US to visit my crazy cousins. Prior to that my mother had always made corn muffins which were either too dense or dry and crumbly. I wrongly assumed that cornbread was just a loaf version of those dry corn muffins.
One Sunday I went, with my uncle, to a small Christian church. He was chasing some business with the pastor and I was trying to get my hands on some fried chicken. After the 3-hour marathon service in an incredibly hot church, we finally got in line to eat. Golden fried chicken, greens with smoked turkey neck, buttery mashed potatoes, cat-head tea biscuits (named for their size – I swear), saffron rice, red velvet cake, sweet tea and a beautiful, moist, grainy buttery yellow cornbread.
My life changed forever after that first bite. Okay, okay I tend to have a slight flair for the dramatic – my perception of cornbread forever changed after that bite.
I shamelessly followed by uncle around from church to church, week after week – much to the concern of Grandma Ruby who was convinced I was trying to change religions – just so that I could keep eating cornbread. Week after week, I inhaled copious amount of buttery moist cornbread. Some were sweet, some were savoury, some had kernels of corn hidden in their folds, some had creamed corn and jalapenos.
No matter which one I tried I could taste the richness of the butter and the buttermilk melded perfectly with the graininess (sp) of the cornmeal, and for me that’s a great cornbread. No skimping on the ingredients or substituting for lower-fat options, it’s got to be made with full fat ingredients.
These days I tend to make cornbread mainly in the fall or winter when the weather gets colder. It’s a nice heavy, dense bread that lends itself perfectly to stews and chilli’s and is the ultimate in comfort food. It’s taken a while but I’ve perfected a cornbread recipe and that's my cherished recipe.
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