Saturday, 10 March 2012

Italian Cornbread

Sometimes  I really struggle sometimes at weekends when I just need to get stuff done and I have a maniacal toddler to entertain at the same time.  It's the double-edged sword of having to be a full time working mummy.  You want to spend quality time together, but you have to wade through all the things you didn't get done in the past week, try to get a headstart on next week and be a perfect mummy too.

At the weekends, I like to do all the mummy things that Miss A hates such as washing her face, combing her hair, trying to keep her from damaging herself too much (there's a difference between learning about danger and dangling from a light fitting) and stopping her from breaking anything that belongs to the husband.

Miss A's preferred weekend activities include being carried everywhere, feeding the dogs inedible objects, throwing tantrums, watching back-to-back episodes of Mr Tumble, escaping out of the front or back doors and trying to sleep on the top stair amongst other things.
Natural light in my kitchen for once

The one thing that I can wholeheartedly say we both enjoy is cooking.  We did have a few tears over there not being any rolling and cutting today - new green playdough just isn't the same as raw gingerbread dough - but she was soon appeased with permission to crack four eggs for me.  Egg cracking is her absolute all time favourite activity.  In fact every time she enters the kitchen, she looks up hopefully with her big brown eyes and pleads 'More crack egg pwease Mama?"  I'm starting to think we need to get chickens and eat more omelettes such is the obsession.

One of the great things about the CBeebies recipes is that all of the steps can be done by children save for putting the food into the oven.  The two other kids cook books I own are cooking for kids rather than with kids so they're not always suitable to do with her.  And I keep kidding myself that the recipes look good enough for an adult to eat.  Sadly, this one left me disappointed again.

Given the expensive ingredients, the flavours just didn't come through.  You could taste the chilli, but if I'd not made it myself, I'd swear that the closest the bread ever got to having cheese in it was when the polenta and goats cheese got delivered by the supermarket delivery driver yesterday.  I'm sure, again, that this is due to a lack of salt.  Whilst I fully appreciate that the recipe is low salt because it's aimed at children, I'd love to know if a half teaspoon would've lifted the flavours properly.

It didn't last long - the light I mean!
I love Jay Rayner in a guilty foodie crush kind of way and totally agree with his assessment of salting things as published in the Guardian recently.  It's bad for you, but boy does a little bit make things taste better.  That said, my beloved grandfather who salts everything before he's tasted it has had endless heart trouble.  I should heed his warnings.

Back to the cornbread.  Miss A had a whale of a time cracking eggs, mixing the ingredients and tearing basil.  She watched it lovingly through the oven door and hovered impatiently while I tried to unstick it from the tin (note to self - always base line the tin even if it doesn't say so in the recipe) and bounced excitedly on her chair when I finally stopped with the photos and served her a piece.  One mouthful and she looked like she'd been poisoned.  Given the yellow colour I think she was expecting a nice little loaf cake.  Still, the dogs enjoyed it.

Not one I'll be making again in any hurry.  I'm not sure if that's how real cornbread is supposed to taste.  I can't say I enjoyed the texture either.  It was a bit weird.  Not exactly bread and a bit too cakey for my liking.  It's the kind of thing I'd have to eat in a restaurant or at someone else's house to convince me it's worthy of trying again.

You can find the recipe here 

1 comment:

  1. I love cornbread! but you are right, it is somewhere between a bread and a cake. I make a mean jalapeno cheese invitation :)


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