Monday, June 6, 2011

Stress Relief

This has nothing to do with teaching, or does it?   I'm reminded of Nikki Giovanni's poem "Legacies" whenever I get my metal sifter down from the kitchen cabinet, so maybe it is related to the topic after all.   You may read the poem by following this link

I like to bake cornbread when I am feeling the weight of stress.   It's not a family recipe.   I started with the directions on the back of a package of Indian Head yellow corn meal and adjusted it until I felt like it was right.   I have my grandmother's sifter and her sunshine yellow Pyrex mixing bowl.   Like I said before, it's not her recipe, but she sure did love to bake.   I like to think about her standing at her own kitchen counter while I am standing at mine.   It's a simple task that brings me a lot of peace.  

I'm sharing my recipe with you and hope that you also have a few "healing ceremonies" that you use when you need them.   Also, Southerners can't write this long without mentioning food, so I finally gave in to the impulse.

Before you are wild-eyed with hunger, take two eggs out of the fridge to reach room temperature.   Ideally, these eggs should be of the local, fresh variety.

Set the oven for 400 degrees F.
Drip a little sunflower oil in your favorite cake pan.

Sift the following into the same bowl:
1 c. corn meal
1 c. cake flour
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. sugar

Pour the following in a smaller bowl/ container:
2/3 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. sunflower oil

When your eggs hit room temperature, beat them with a fork and get rid of any whites that seem stringy.
Next, plop eggs in the smaller bowl and beat them to combine with milk/ oil.

Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients.   Mix with your fork.

Make sure your pan is lightly coated with sunflower oil.
Pour the batter into the pan.
Depending on your pan, it will take roughly 20-25 minutes.

It's done when you can press your palm lightly on the top of the cake and the cake springs back.

Top with honey and butter.

Jump back. Kiss yourself. Have mercy.


  1. This is beautiful! When I cook I always have conversations with my Grandma's!

  2. Thanks, MJ, I baked a lot of cornbread this year!