I've got my cornbread act down.
And this cast iron bread pan, does it make all the difference in the world?
No, the cast iron pan does not make all the difference in the world.
It makes some difference in the world.
And that's something.
Southern cooks swear by cast iron.
And Southern cooks know what they're talking about.
It is everything all at once. Even though you know what goes into it the cornbread surprises you anyway.
It is the cake version of polenta.
And the corn version of risotto.
It is the solid version of grits.
And flavorful version of porridge.
The savory version of banana bread
The Mexican version of zucchini bread.
Southern cooks will reject this cornbread as inauthentic cornbread. Too sweet. Too cake-like. Too light. Insufficiently dry. And way too interesting.
Why are you doing cornbread again?
Getting my act down.
It's hot. And the next bite is creamy cheese that alleviates the heat while adding a tiny crunch here and there of undissolved corn from having milled the popcorn right here. Resolving those bits left in the mouth as they masticate and dissolve except for one tiny disconcerting chunk of something in there like jerky that is chewed and the flavor of bacon explodes through the mouth by biting that one tiny particle eradicating every other flavor preceding it and demanding a hunt for another of those. Eating a piece even unbuttered delivers intriguing and pleasant sensations in the mouth in series and you simply cannot get enough of the intrigue. When the slice is gone you are right back on it with another slice so the flavor sensations in combination can continue until your stomach cannot hold any more. It's quite filling.
What a bummer. Now you have to wait and recover to hit it again.
And it's not just me thinking all this either. This is not my usual braggadocio. Not my customary 12% exaggeration for dramatic effect. No! This is people telling me so, and this is me unable to resist it.
Recommended. Also, these same ingredients needn't be in bread form. The same thing as polenta side will win judge's approval. As risotto or as polenta it will compete for attention with the main course. This happened before. Do you see, two things like this on a plate with a main course is the same thing as having three main courses on a plate at the same time vying for attention in a cage match. A plate match. A cacophony of disorienting flavors. And this is not always good. But that's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it.