Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Planning Ahead

I'm thinking Thanksgiving.  (Too early?  Nah, never too early to be prepared for a holiday.)

Each year as I plan my Thanksgiving menu, a feeling of boredom and weariness settles over me when I contemplate preparing and serving the same old dishes, year after year.  This creates no enthusiasm for the dinner at all.  Each year I imagine creating some new offerings that will add a bit of interest and inspiration to the meal.

This year, I'm going to do it!  Of course, I realize (and have to take into account) there are those people who will be present who would balk at not having their particular "favorites" on the table.  So even if I do manage to add new dishes, I'll have to do what needs to be done to satisfy certain cranky expectations.  (Hrumpf.)

Aaaanyway, I've gone through some of my cook books that have specific Thanksgiving recipes, and made a list of those I'd like to try out before Turkey Day arrives.

I seriously doubt I'll be able to work my way through all these possibilities, but I do want to try as many of them as I can without spending six hours a day in the kitchen.  (I do have a couple [oh, ya] of end-of-the-season tasks to accomplish before late fall/winter time arrives.)

To this end, I got busy yesterday and chose a recipe for cornmeal muffins which I made and served with our large tossed salad at noon time.

Papa Pea and I have never been overly fond of cornbread or cornmeal muffins.  Myself, I think it has to do with the "dry" texture usually found when using cornmeal.  This recipe is different and we both liked it a lot.

I thought I'd share it with you as the muffins would be excellent with any meal including simple soups, stews or salads.  I found the recipe in a Taste of Home cook book and adapted it to our tastes.

Cornmeal Muffins with Corn

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

In a large bowl, combine the first six dry ingredients.

Combine the egg, pumpkin, buttermilk and 
butter in a small bowl.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry
ingredients just until blended.
Fold in corn.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups about
two-thirds full and bake in a 400 degree
oven for 12-15 minutes or until a
toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to 
a wire rack.  Makes 1 dozen.

These are all that were left at the end of the day yesterday.  Chicken Mama and Gilligan gave their seal of approval also.

The addition of the pumpkin makes for a moist texture although the flavor of same doesn't come through.  (I used some home-canned pumpkin of my own, so I don't know if there would be a difference if using commercially canned pumpkin.)  Next time around, I'll add even more corn kernels as the unexpected pop and burst of flavor they added was great.

I guess planning ahead does work out sometimes.  One new possible Thanksgiving recipe tried, and one success!


Susan said...

I know exactly how you feel. I love trying new things, but run into resistance at every turn when it comes to holidays. We are very simpatico, as I made GF cornbread last night! I bet I could convert this recipe to GF with very little problem! Keep the new ideas coming!

Kristina said...

I know a few recipes that I tried last year, I won't be making this year. It's good to try them early I guess. I have some pies on my menu though. Mmm!

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :)) Alex and I don't like the grainy texture of cornbread, I always found it dry as well, which made for it sticking in my esophagus too often to gather up courage for me to try again, but I'd love to try your recipe for Alex.

Hey guess what? I PLANNED my Thanksgiving menu yesterday lol...mind you, ours is in just over a month's time. I don't mind doing the traditional turkey and stuffing. Alex and I don't have family or really any friends to visit or have visit us, so we go all out traditional for Thanksgiving. The only thing I usually do different is the appetizer. This year it'll be a shrimp bisque I think! I like that you're trying new recipes! Keep 'em comin'! :)

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I've always admired how adventuresome you are in trying out tons of new recipes. Since I love variety, I want to come live and eat with you.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Well, that's just it! I don't want to put an untried dish on the table at Thanksgiving and have unhappy faces staring at me and their plates!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - I'm realizing how little real cooking I've done over the summer months. Oh, I get three meals a day on the table, but it's not like the cooking I do in the fall and winter. I've missed it . . . and am liking it!

Michelle said...

Oh, I have pumpkin and whey (sub for buttermilk) in the frig! Must make!

Sparkless said...

I love a good cornmeal muffin. I usually make mine with sharp cheddar but this recipe looks delicious. I'm going to have to give it a try.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Its funny...just today I sent out feelers to the family to see who was coming for Thanksgiving this year. We have it up at our family cottage and I need to start marking a list! And as it is at the cottage, I have to bring EVERYTHING for cooking. We have pots and pans but everything from butter, to spices to flour, etc. Its a chore but one we love as there is no better time at the cottage than October.

I have a cornbread recipe that I make in my cast iron frypan but it is on the dry side. We sometimes add maple syrup if you want it sweet (I don't make mine very sweet) but also usually have it with chili so you can dunk!

Leigh said...

Pumpkin! I never would have guessed but am definitely going to try this recipe. Dan's not overly fond of cornbread either, but it's our easiest to grow grains and so we do have it on occasion. This one sounds like a winner and maybe he'll decide to like it more.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, we have cornbread just about every meal. My husband loves cornbread broken up in a glass with milk poured over it. I'm going to try your recipe, it sounds so good.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - Hope it turns out for you!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Yes, cheddar in a cornmeal muffin would make it more palatable for me!

Mama Pea said...

MrsDM - Before we moved up here, we came up to a cabin (from Illinois) every Thanksgiving and I hauled the whole meal with me, too, so I know just what is involved with your Thanksgiving at your family cottage!

I have a couple of cast iron skillets that would be good for corn bread, but have never made it that way. I should try.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - As I say, you can't (or at least we couldn't) detect the pumpkin in these muffins. I think it made the color more golden, but not dark as pumpkin does in some recipes. Maybe my home canned pumpkin isn't as dark (I'm sure it's not) as commercially canned though. It definitely made the muffins moist and along with the kernel corn, much better to my mind. Hope Dan likes the recipe if you try it. Let me know!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Every meal?! Just does to show how we eat differently in different parts of the country!

Hope you like this particular recipe and add it to your menu now and then!

koi seo said...

I have a cornbread recipe that I make in my cast iron frypan but it is on the dry side.