Also known as: I will find any excuse to bake.
One of my friends is one of the event planners for my school’s “Black Student Union”-type club (technically called Igwebuike). I was stalking her on Facebook when I saw their event today was a large “Soul-Food” potluck. I was intrigued by the idea of free food coupled with the fabulous opportunity to bake and share fabulous food, so I talked another friend into making something with me.
Of course, I had very little idea of what exactly “soul food” was… I still am not entirely clear on it, but this Wikipedia article was informative. While I would have loved to come up with some great vegetarian dish that fit the bill, we decided to go with something a little easier to make with stuff I mostly already had… CORNBREAD.
Actually, cornbread was one of my favorite foods when I was in Kindergarten… That and tomato soup. I was a cool kid… I also hated french fries. Go figure. So we bought an enormous box of cornmeal and just used the recipe on the back. But we used Earth Balance spread, melted, instead of the oil (I was almost out!) and Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer, because I didn’t want to buy eggs. I also sprinkled some Daiya on part of it, which was semi-successful. Oh, and I had to improvise an 8×8 pan using my 9×13… College baking is always a little bit improvised.
Adapted slightly from Albers cornmeal
1 cup corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (I used 1/2 tsp because my “butter” was quite salty)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
~1/2 cup corn kernels (optional, my addition!)
PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.
COMBINE meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, oil and egg in small bowl; mix well. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared pan.
BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.
They were pretty good… A little less moist than the cornbread of my youth, but I think it’s just a slightly different type than the kind I used to have (which was also somewhat sweeter). I really enjoyed these!
Of course, I’m of the belief that cookies are soul food, no matter what Wikipedia might say. Because baking and eating them totally nourishes the soul.
I had some Dark Chocolate & Mint chips left over that I decided to use up… Again, I just pulled the recipe off the back of the bag. Again, I used Earth Balance and egg replacer. This made them significantly more crumbly than usual (I’ve made this recipe before) but still delicious. I mean, really, how can you go wrong with mint & chocolate?
They’re called Mint Chocolate Delights, apparently! For the recipe, click here.
There was tons of food at the event itself… All kinds of sweet potatoes and yams and collard greens (prob my fave part!)! Oh, and lots of chicken, but I didn’t partake in that… Here’s one of my plates.
I definitely hit the fruits hard. Meaning I probably ate half of a watermelon (I’m not even exaggerating). I just have no self control with fruit, it’s actually kind of a problem (pretty sure there IS such a thing as too much fruit… they’re still sugars!).
We ate well, and it was another welcome break from dining-hall food. Plus it was just fun to be in the kitchen with people!
Here are some of the other desserts people brought… There were some killer pies (especially the sweet potato pie, OMG!)
Have you ever had “soul food”? What’s your favorite kind?
What kind of food nourishes YOUR soul?
What would YOU do with a ginormous box of cornmeal? I need ideas!