When I mentioned on Facebook the other day that I forced my children to eat peas and cornbread for dinner it brought on an unexpected discussion of cornbread. Mandy said she ate hers with mayo. Really? Here’s how we eat ours (it’s how I grew up eating it). So, how do you eat yours?
Black-eyed peas, cornbread, sliced tomato, fried squash and okra from our garden. I used dried black-eyed peas and soaked them over night. The next morning I got up, drained off the water, added more, threw some of those frozen pre-chopped onions in with some pepper, a bunch of salt and about a tablespoon of bacon grease (that I keep in a mason jar in the fridge – yes, I do) into the crockpot and cooked them til dinner time. I said I was cooking frugal, people, not healthy. When I got in from shopping I whipped up the cornbread before picking Matt up from work. I use Aunt Jemima Cornmeal Mix and follow the instructions. I heat the iron skillet in the oven with about 3 tablespoons bacon grease (yes, again with the drippin’s), while it’s melting I mix together the cornbread ingredients. When the grease is melted I whirl it around in the skillet to coat the sides and bottom and then pour the remaining into the mix. Stir quickly and pour back into the skillet, put it straight into the oven for the specified time. When it’s done I flip it out of the skillet onto a plate. I fried up the garden veggies (only squash and okra this time, though I did break down and fry the green tomatoes the other day – they were heavenly).
For the fried veggies: I mix 2 eggs and about 1/2 – 3/4 cup milk in one and about 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup cornmeal and a bunch of Tony’s with some salt in a second bowl. Wash and slice the veggies, dip them in the egg mixture, and then dredge them through the flour/cornmeal mixture. Using the same iron skillet from earlier, I melt enough bacon grease to cover the bottom (about 3 tablespoons again). When it’s hot I fry the veggies single layer on one side, when golden, flip over. I then sliced up a tomato and served it with salt as desired. I serve the peas over the warm cornbread, veggies on the side. For dessert we had warm cornbread with butter and jelly. All I needed to complete the meal from my childhood was some sweet tea (what was I thinkin’, not havin’ that on hand?) and buttermilk – to crumble the warm cornbread into. Mmm.. I missed out on that one this time.
My poor kids thought I was torturing them with this meal. “All we’re having is beans?” they whined. Oh, well. My southern tastes will eventually wear off on them. Or they’ll just eat heartier at breakfast. I have since discovered that they love the fried veggies with ranch dressing, particularly the green tomatoes.
We ate the beans as a side with one other meal later in the week and then I froze the rest for future soups.