Celebrating the giving of thanks by sharing food can be great fun, especially when those of us who don't consider ourselves cooks are given the opportunity to experiment. Marash Girl doesn't expect you, dear reader, to stop reading and go and try this recipe today, as you have (hopefully) already planned and executed most of what you are going to serve for today's special meal. . . Nonetheless, Marash Girl would like to share her secret for the best corn bread ever . . .
Starting with a box of Quaker Yellow Corn Meal, Marash Girl reads the recipe on the back of the box for Easy Corn Bread. Though the recipe calls for 1-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup Quaker Yellow Cornmeal, Marash Girl changes the proportions for a closer to authentic taste, and more crunch -- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1-1/4 cups corn meal. Next the sugar. Marsha Girl substitutes 1/4 cup brown sugar for the 1/4 cup white sugar that the recipe calls for. And, rather than 1 cup of skim milk, Marash Girl substitutes (at the recommendation of Boston's suspense writer Robert Parker) 1 cup of buttermilk (which is, by definition, the milk left after the butterfat is skimmed off!)
So here's the Quaker recipe for Easy Corn Bread with revisions by Marash Girl and Robert Parker :
1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Quaker corn meal 1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter)
2.5 tsps baking powder 1 egg
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9 inch (square to be more traditional) baking pan. If using a glass baking dish, reduce oven to 375 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. DO NOT OVERMIX!
Pour batter into greased pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the cornbread is a light golden brown and a wooden "tooth" pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings (cut in squares, two cuts in each direction).