Cornbread Cornbread is an American original. Made by Native Americans in several different versions for thousands of years, European immigrants took to it quite fast. Nothing is better than Cornbread made with fresh ground corn. Perfect addition to a meal with beans and ham or chicken and dumplings. Topped with butter, jam, honey or sorghum syrup, cornbread can be savory or sweet. I use a basic recipe for our fresh ground cornmeal. 2 cups fresh ground corn 2 cups milk (or buttermilk) 2 eggs 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda Mix all dry ingredients together then mix in milk and eggs. Pour into greased baking dish or iron skillet. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until done. The batter is pretty thin but this allows the cornmeal to thoroughly soften and cook properly. This is also gluten free. If you want a more cake like cornbread, substitute 1 cup of flour for 1 cup of cornmeal.
Summer Squash Bake Mid summer, everyone that gardens is looking for a way to use up excess Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Patty Pans. Here is a simple casserole that is easy to make and comes out great. Ingredients: 3 Tablespoons butter 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch 3/4 Teaspoon Salt Pinch of Pepper 2 Cups Milk 3 Average Summer Squash 1/2 Onion, Fine Chopped 1 Large Graded Carrot Melt butter in a sauce pan, stir in Corn Starch, salt, pepper (optional) and onions. Cook for one minute, stirring continuously. Add milk and continue to stir over low heat until sauce thickens then set aside. Add carrots to sauce and stir. Slice squash 1/4" thick. In a square casserole dish, layer squash and white sauce being sure to have all squash covered with the sauce. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. It's that simple. Since we use corn starch, this is gluten free. The corn starch also gives a creamier texture to the sauce than flour will. You can also add chopped shrimp or chopped ham to this or add peas for a vegetarian dish.
Stuffed Winter Squash I absolutely love winter squash. I usually make casseroles, pies and occasionally soup with them. The pies and casseroles are on the typical sweet side. This week as I kept looking at a small Long Island Cheese squash sitting on the counter, I was trying to figure out a savory way to fix this for supper one night. Tonight, I started to grab things out of the refrigerator and winged it. It turned out quite good and was easy. Prep time was about 1 hour 15 minutes and it was so easy. Ingredients: I small winter squash, something like a buttercup or sweet dumpling. 1/2 pound ground sausage 1 small chopped mild onion 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms 1/4 cup sour cream 1/2 cup cottage cheese 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 1 egg ground sage salt I cook like most people, I really don't measure anything so the above ingredient amounts are not exact but are real close. Clean and cut your squash in half, remove all seeds and scrape clean. Place squash cut face down in a pan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. While the squash is baking, add sausage, onions and mushrooms to a skillet and cook until done, drain all oils and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk egg until smooth and mix in sour cream, cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese. Slowly add in sausage mixture. Season with ground sage and salt to taste. When squash are fork tender, remove from oven and turn over, fill cavity with stuffing, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. When plating, top with additional Parmesan cheese. This is a great savory way to fix winter squash that we will definitely do again! Photo at bottom of page.
Pie Crust It amazes me how many people can not make a pie crust or don't have any idea where to begin. This is a basic, real easy to make pie crust, it is flaky and has a good flavor. For 8” or 9” single 1 1/3 Cup flour ½ Teaspoon Salt ½ Cup Crisco 3 Tablespoons Water Combine flour and salt, cut in Crisco. Add water for final mixing. Roll out on floured surface. Do not overwork crust. For most pies, bake empty shell @ 425 for 12-15 minutes.
Pumpkin Pie Filling This is the pie filling I make each year around the holidays, it is made from home grown winter squash. I use either Choctaw Sweet Potato Winter Squash or Miami Green Spotted Winter Squash. Other winter squash and (or pie type pumpkin) like Long Island Cheese can also be used for this. This will make two 9" deep pies or three 8" disposable tin size pies. Cut pumpkin into strips, peal then cube, boil until tender. Drain well and puree. Do not whip in excess air. 4 ½ cups fresh cooked pureed pumpkin 1 ½ cups light brown sugar 2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 4 eggs 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk ½ cup milk Mix together salt, flour and spices, mix into brown sugar. Add slightly beaten eggs and pumpkin, mix well. Add milk and mix. Pour into unbaked pie shells, bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.
Biscuits Something as basic as home made biscuits seems to frustrate a lot of people. This is a basic baking powder biscuit easy to make recipe, great for breakfast or dinner. 2 cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup shortening 3/4 cup milk Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening until the consistency is of cornmeal. Add ,milk and stir. Lay out on a floured surface, roll or pat to the thickness of 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Cut into rounds, I use a plastic cup with a 3 1/4" opening that was lightly floured before using. Place biscuits together on an ungreased sheet, bake at 450 for 12 to 15 minutes.
Cat Head Biscuits Cat Head Biscuits is an Appalachian version of the common baking powder biscuit. Made with buttermilk and with a wetter consistency. 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup of shortening or lard 1 cup buttermilk Mix flour, salt and baking powder, cut in shortening until the consistency of cornmeal. Add buttermilk and stir. Do not over mix, a slightly lumpy texture is perfect. Pull it out on well floured surface, fold over once or twice. The dough will be a little sticky. Pull off balls of dough about 2 1/2" across, lightly pad down and lay next to each other on a cooking sheet, bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Use a good buttermilk, one that says "with real butter flakes" or something along those lines. This recipe makes 6 nice sized biscuits.