It’s a wonderful thing, “Do It Yourself,” bypassing the specialists and experts, learning new skills, impressing our friends and neighbors, and building our precious self esteem.
In my most recent DIY attempt, I made my own cornmeal! Isn’t that impressive? A friend sent me a link to a cornbread recipe in the Washington Post. The recipe included baking the bread in a cast iron pan coated with bacon grease, and the batter contained tiny bits of bacon. So far, so good. What’s not to like about anything with bacon in it?
But I read on, to the comments section, where I learned that we can make our own cornmeal out of un-popped popcorn. Imagine that! So I did. My first attempt was to use the food processor, which accomplished nothing but flinging the kernels around in the bowl. My second attempt was to grind the kernels up in the blender, which did work, sort of, but the blender kept shorting out and I had to unplug it and plug it back in every five or so seconds. Kind of a nuisance, but I wanted homemade cornmeal, dammit.
I sifted what I had made in the blender through this spoon (beer for scale purposes) and got rid of the unground kernels.
And I made the cornbread.
Gaw-jus, isn’t it?
However, it turned out that I had no idea what “coarsely ground” cornmeal should be like, and eating the cornbread turned out to be a really bad idea. The parts of the popcorn kernels that weren’t sufficiently ground were so hard that we worried about cracking our teeth.
The rest of the cornbread is going outside for the birds, once it stops raining.
The recipe is a good one, if you want to give it a try, and you can DIY your own cornmeal, if you know what you are doing, and if you don’t, well, you’ve been warned. If you want more fiber in your diet, it might be a way to go, but only if you don’t care much about your teeth.
Me? I’m going to Whole Foods to search for some professionally milled coarse cornmeal.
Oh! I almost forgot! I made my own buttermilk! Who wants to buy a quart of buttermilk only to use a cup of it? Instead, just put a tablespoon of white vinegar in a one cup container, then add enough milk to make it a full cup (8oz), wait five minutes, and you have buttermilk.