Hi all, I hope every one of you are safe and well! It’s been surreal these last couple of weeks to say the least as our lives have changed as we know it. No more living in the moment, it’s all about planning. Planning for how long we will have to stay at home, planning when to go out and get groceries plus planning for how much we really need or how long it will be before we can safely go visit family and friends. We take so much for granted and it’s going to be a sacrifice but we are all in this together. We have communicated by phone with our kids, family and friends more than we have in years. It’s not about the texting or emails, it’s just more reassuring to hear their voices to know that they are all okay! I’m sure you all have similar feelings. I’m also trying to be frugal and not waste anything, especially food. I don’t always have fresh vegetables and fruit on hand but I have a pantry full of goods that I can make due with. I went through my dry goods and found a package of blue cornmeal. What a perfect time for some cornbread! I had planned on making some black bean soup and cornbread would make it last a bit longer. Looking through my cookbooks I found an old recipe in “The Progressive Farmer” cookbook that sounded a lot like how my Mom used to make hers, so I gave it a try. It turned out so good! And I found a bottle of “Monroe’s Red Chile Honey” in the pantry which was perfect to drizzle over top.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 8 or 9 inch cast iron skillet by rubbing a tablespoon of butter around the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet and bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
And this is my black bean soup! To make a can of beans go farther, add broth, onion, garlic, tomatoes, roasted red or green chiles, corn, bacon, ham, ground beef, avocado, grated cheese, sour cream or tortilla strips. Anything you have available will make a can of beans go a long way! If you add more broth, you can thicken by using a potato masher to mash the beans. The starch from the beans will thicken the soup. I have 2 versions of Black Bean Soup which you can find in my Soup Recipes.
Blue Corn Cornbread (adapted from “Progressive Farmer’s Country Living Recipes”
1 cup Blue Corn Cornmeal
1/3 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 large Egg
1 cup Buttermilk (1 teaspoon lemon juice added to whole milk will substitute for buttermilk)
Monroe’s Red Chile Honey, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Whisk egg and buttermilk together. Pour the buttermilk/egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until it forms a thin batter. Pour batter into a buttered 8 or 9 inch cast iron skillet. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 8 servings.