Olive Oyl's Summertime Cornbread
If you pour oil and vinegar into the same vessel,
you would call them not friends but opponents.
By Cal Orey
Cornbread is often considered an autumn food. But as a falltime lover, I'm going to break the rules (again) this summer... Nope, it's not the time to hit the pots and pans and make it all on my own. No, I'm not in big trouble and need rescuing from Popeye--but a little help in the kitchen and some good food couldn't hurt. Read: This Writing Gourmet has a radio show to do later today--talking about the virtues of vinegar to the people in Redding, California. And according to the weather report, it's going to be in the low 80s here at Lake Tahoe. Too hot to really bake up a storm. Again, I'm taking the quick, easy, and healthy route. And you can too.
Go online and type in all-natural cornbread mixes. These are much like gourmet brownie mixes--you have the option to add oil and it will be extra virgin olive oil that does the trick. The mixes call for water, an egg, low-fat milk, and oil (added ingredients will vary). Then, you mix it up and bake it. I prefer the nice sized muffins or after it's baked cornbread to cut in nice slices. BTW: These mixes boast no artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, and 0 trans fat. Plus, you'll get calcium, iron, and some other good for you nutrients. Not to forget the light texture and taste of the bread. I love to drizzle raw honey on top of cornbread (forget butter).
For me, today it's a nice spinach salad with nuts and veggies that will work since I like to stay on the vegan path. But, that doesn't mean I've ignored meat lovers. There is a super "Hearty Garlic Chili" recipe which calls for red wine vinegar (my fave) and it's on page 298 in my book The Healing Powers of Vinegar, Revised and Updated (Kensington, 2009 mass market edition). If you like kidney beans, ground beef, and want a good, hearty meal--it's for you. Or, go ahead and spend less time in the kitchen and do as Olive Oyl might do--team your hot cornbread with a cool, tossed spinach salad with summer's seasonal veggies, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Either way, it's a win-win lunch or dinner.