I am not sure I’d ever made cornbread before, but I really like it, so when recipes kept catching my eye in my cookbooks, I figured it was time to make some. I flipped through a few books looking at different recipes, and I went with Bettina’s recipe from A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband.
As usual, Bettina’s approach is straightforward, and calls only for basic, usually on hand ingredients. Bettina’s recipes are plain, but tend to be good when they aren’t too plain for today’s taste.
Bettina served her corn bread to husband Bob with ham baked in milk, baked potatoes, and cranberry sauce. While Bob raved about the tenderness of the ham, he was strangely silent about the corn bread, which we both thought was delicious. With a hot veggie or a salad added, the whole menu sounds delicious, but I was just making breakfast, so only made the corn bread.
Over dinner, Bob and Bettina discussed the recipe box of tried and true recipes for two that she is putting together for her newly wed friend, Alice, as a Christmas gift. This still seems like a practical and thoughtful gift today.
Here is Bettina’s best corn bread recipe, which serves 3:
1/2 cup corn meal
2/3 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk (I used the whole egg, so as not to have to find some way to use up the white.)
2/3 cup milk
1 tbsp melted butter
Mix the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt thoroughly. Add the egg yolk and milk, and beat two minutes. Add the melted butter. Mix well. Pour into a well buttered square cake pan. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.
I set the oven at 375 to bake, and it came out nicely in 20 minutes. This was a nice, plain, basic corn bread, slightly sweet, but not overly so. It had a nice flavour and texture, and I will be making it again. Perhaps in the next while, I’ll buy a ham steak and try the whole menu as suggested.
A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband, with Bettina’s Best Recipes was written by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron, and published in 1917.