Happy 2009!


Happy New Year, everyone! I baked corn muffins today to go with our New Year’s meal of black-eyed peas and greens (in this case spinach because there were no frozen collards at my HEB and I was not in the mood to bother with fresh).

It is traditional on New Year’s Day in Texas and the South to eat the peas for good luck and the greens for prosperity. When I was a kid, I hated black-eyed peas. My parents put so much pressure on me to eat them or risk bad luck all year long that I would swallow a few peas whole with milk, like taking a pill, just to get them to leave me alone. But now I like black-eyed peas, especially when there’s good cornbread and some kind of greens to go with them. I try to guard against putting pressure on my own kids to eat them, although I have taught them about the superstition.

Here is the corn muffin recipe I used, but I cut it in half. It is from one of my chef school textbooks.

Corn Muffins
Source: On Cooking
Recipe yield: 30 muffins

12 oz yellow cornmeal
12 oz all-purpose flour
7 -1/2 oz sugar (optional – I DON’T use sugar in mine)
1 TB baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
24 fl oz (3 c) buttermilk
6 eggs
6 oz unsalted butter, melted

1.    Preheat oven to 375° F.
2.    Sift dry ingredients in large bowl.
3.    Beat eggs; combine in bowl with other wet ingredients.
4.    Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry; mix until just combined (overmixing will make the muffins tough).
5.    Portion into very well-greased muffin tin, filling about 2/3 full.
6.    Bake until done, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.


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