I am obviously still home and—even more obviously—have a lot of free time on my hands.

My routine at my parents’ place is always the same. I get up, I make coffee and I do my daily crossword. This can go on for hours. So yesterday, sitting at the table trying to recall the five-letter name of the person who wrote “Ode to a Grecian Urn” (Keats), I’m pulled out of my zone by the plop of a bag of cornmeal next to me.

Mom: “I have a sooo much of these corns. Can you use?”

Me: “Cornbread?”

Mom: “OK.”

And that was that.

Cornbread is good stuff—with chili or fresh out of the oven or skillet and drizzled with honey, but I don’t know much about it. (My only exposure has been from potlucks.) So I took a few minutes to do a little research on the subject and came across thousands of posts, definitions, recipes and photos of cornbread and all its variations: cakey cornbread, northern style (johnny cake), southern style, cornbread with honey, with sage, with cheese, with creamed corn, with fresh corn, and, and, and…Good cornbread it seems is a matter of preference. I like it sweeter, denser and moist, like cake, which is why I went for a recipe (via Use Real Butter) that had a high liquid to dry ingredient ratio. Yogurt as well as milk are also called for, which seemed to me a guarantee for a softer bread.

I’d say it came out pretty well, especially considering that the entire batch was gone by dinner that same day!! I doubled the original amount of sugar (to 1/2 cup), and I’m glad I did. It was just the right amount of sweetness. For next time, though, I’m cutting out 1/2 the butter and replacing it with oil.


Cornbread (adapted from Use Real Butter)


4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg, room temperature

1 cup milk

1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup flour

1 tbsp baking

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt


  1. Position oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F. Grease an 8×8-inch square pan with butter or cooking spray and dust with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, milk, yogurt (or sour cream), and sugar.
  3. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir together until just blended. Don’t overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Take care not to overbake or else the cornbread will be too dry. Cool on a wire rack and serve.
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