Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What's Baking: Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins

Trying times call for comforting food, and these Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins fit the bill perfectly. 


Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins || A Less Processed Life

It typically takes me a little longer to get back into the blogging groove after the holidays, but this year it's been harder than usual.

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins || A Less Processed Life

Let's just say that when you're worried about the potential end of democracy in your country, whether or not you should be stockpiling food, and the general loss of decency and civility in both politics and everyday life, writing a little post about something I cooked seems just a tad inconsequential.

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins || A Less Processed Life

I spent the day after the inauguration at the Women's March On Chicago. It felt good to be part of such a large group of like-minded people. I nearly cried at the sight of so many people streaming in to gather together to fight the disastrous policies of this administration. Some signs were funny; others were poignant. I left the march feeling uplifted that we were not alone, and there are plenty of decent people left in this world who care about the future of this country.

And then Monday happened.
And Tuesday.
And fast forward to Friday.

It seriously frightens me to think where this country is headed and who is pulling all the strings. I prefer the America that is inclusive. That cares about the environment. That has empathy. That is open to immigrants and the diversity of experience they bring to this country. That supports the marriages of my gay and lesbian friends. That doesn't discriminate based on religion or ethnicity or gender identity or sexual orientation. That doesn't mock others. That gives a woman the right to control her own reproductive organs. That makes everyone's ability to exercise their right to vote easier, not harder. That worries over gun violence in this country. That wants to help people rather than hurt people. That upholds the separation between church and state. That doesn't value money over human life. That provides healthcare to those who need it. That values science. That values public education. That rewards people for the skills they have, not the people they know. That thinks for the future and not just the present. I want the America I grew up in and has provided me with so much.

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins || A Less Processed Life

The long and short of it is, I'm worried. And I'm not sure what to do about it, other than resist and protest in whatever way I can, whether small or large. 

And in the meantime, I can't let myself drown in fear. And that's where I hope this blog can come in this year. I've always retreated to the kitchen when I need a break from the stresses of life. The meditation of baking is often my solace when I'm overcome with emotion or feeling stagnated. So, today, I return to the kitchen to bake. And roast. And mix. And stir. And find a way to have hope for the future.

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins (printer-friendly version)
makes 12 muffins

1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or spray each cup generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, add together the cornmeal and buttermilk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and sugar. 
4. Add the egg and olive oil to the bowl with the cornmeal and buttermilk. Stir to combine. 
5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined. Gently stir in the frozen corn kernels. Distribute the batter evenly into the 12 prepped muffin cups. (Each cup should be about 3/4 full.)
6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes in the tin. Serve warm or re-heat before serving.

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