When we were dating, Bill used to eat dinner at my parent's house almost every night, even when I was at work. The one thing he didn't like was corn bread and beans. He would walk in the door and we'd say, "you aren't going to want to stay today" and he would say "not beans!!". When we moved into our apartment and had to do that first huge grocery shopping trip, he watched me pick up applesauce, then corn meal, but when I got to the navy beans he said, "Please tell me you aren't going to continue the tradition of corn bread and beans." But I loved them, so I made them. About 6 months later he actually requested them and had to admit that the taste had grown on him and he was actually craving them. I never stopped harassing him over that!!
Even if you don't want to venture into the world of corn bread and beans, you'll love this corn bread. I taught Kay to make this when she was, believe it or not, 4 years old. She's been making it ever since.
To prove that she makes it completely by herself, I took a bazillion pictures while she slaved away in the kitchen! Here she is, step by step.
Measuring the flour:
Stirring all the dry ingredients together:
Whisking the wet ingredients:
Pouring the wet ingredients into the dry:
Pouring the batter into the pan:
This is a picture of the bean soup part of the meal. They don't look very interesting! Finally, here is Kay who snuck off to the family room to lick the bowl from the corn bread?! I'm all over cookie dough, cake batter, etc. but corn bread batter - not so much!
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine. Pour into a greased 9X9 pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
1 pound dry navy beans
8 cups water
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
(Most recipes will tell you to soak the beans over night but I never bother.)
Combine the water, beans, celery, onion and bay leaf in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. After about 1 hour, add the salt and pepper. Continue cooking 2-3 hours, stirring periodically. For the final 30 minutes or so, remove the lid. Add more water if needed.
Kay: I didn't think I ever liked the beans but tonight they tasted good. It might be because I am a little sick with a cold. My dad really likes me making the corn bread because he says mine is the best.
Mom (Dana): I almost fell over tonight when Kay said "these beans taste good"! She eats her corn bread and beans separately. Bill puts his beans on the corn bread. I do it the correct way (obviously!!) which is to put the beans on the corn bread and then top that with applesauce. Don't say EWW - it's good! My mom does that also but then mushes it all together. My dad puts raw onions on his.