Monday, December 30, 2013


On New Year's Day, I'm just as bad as the next person for making the same old resolutions that I know I probably won't keep (top two every year for at least 15 years running?
1. Lose weight
2. Exercise more)
That being said, for the last couple of years, I've tried to at least include a resolution or two that I felt like I would actually getting my passport.  I did that a couple of years back.

For 2013, one of the resolutions I made that I kept, I am actually pretty proud of...And no, I didn't lose weight and exercise more (silly).  I did, however overcome my fear of making cornbread.  Behold!  The first pone of cornbread I have ever baked that was actually edible:

It isn't the very best cornbread on Earth (my Dad makes that)...but it was actually very good cornbread.  I can't believe I did it.  I've tried for YEARS to make a decent cornbread.  Nothing fancy, nothing exotic...just a decent pone of cornbread that you could eat with beans or chili or whatever.  And my cornbread ALWAYS sucked.  It was too dry, it was raw in the middle, it was a hot crumbled-up mess when I flipped it out of the pan...Once, everything looked okay, but the cornbread itself had some kind of awful, bitter after-taste.  Eventually, I gave up on cornbread.  If I needed cornbread to go with my chili...I'd just make extra chili, call my Dad up and swap him some chili for cornbread.
Well, sometime in 2012, Dad cut me off.  He told me I was 42 years old and needed to learn to make my own cornbread.  He knew that I ended up with my Granny Gladys's cast iron skillet.  The skillet she got when she got married.  Basically, it is the most beautifully "seasoned" cast iron skillet you have ever seen. He insisted that I had all the tools I needed to make cornbread.  Nevermind that I had made some perfectly AWFUL cornbread in Granny's skillet in the past.
Above: Granny's skillet. Isn't it beautiful?  It's got to be at least 70 years old.  Yes, it's a Lodge.  I can't believe how much bad cornbread I've made with this because honestly, anyone should be able to make good cornbread with a Lodge cast iron skillet with 70 years of seasoning.
So for 2013, my very first resolution was that I would learn to make cornbread.  I have put it off and put it off until last night.  Knowing I only had three days left, I decided to suck it up and go for it.  And this time, I didn't try anything fancy...I didn't try any of the "tricks" (using melted Crisco like Granny used to do) or secret ingredients (guy at work says to put some creamed corn in it).  I just went by the recipe on the back of the corn meal bag and I MEASURED everything.  I'm not much of a measuring person...which probably explains why I can cook but can't bake.  So there.  Mission accomplished.  Yes, I was just in under the wire, but it still counts.  The cornbread was good, if not stellar.  The 12-Bean Soup I made with the left over Honeybaked Ham bone to go WITH the cornbread???  Now, THAT was stellar.
Now...what's in store for me for 2014??? Hmmm...
Update:  I've figured out what my resolution that I actually plan on keeping is for 2014.  I'm going to have a garden.  I don't know if I'm going to ease into it with just a herb garden or if I'll actually try to grow a veggie or two.  If you know me personally, you will know how out-on-a-limb this resolution is...I have a terrible black thumb.  But since I've gotten past my cornbread issue...the next will be to try to grow something.

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