Popcorn? Really?

My husband’s great grandparents are from the little town in which we live.  MaMaw Lucille was his great-grandmother, and her cooking is a legend among women.  I’ve shared with you her biscuit recipe.  Gregg will talk, full of nostalgia, about how:

She would take a pile of flour on her board there.  And work buttermilk into it.  The next thing you know, you’d be eating the most delicious, flaky, amazing biscuits in the world.

Obviously there’s more to the recipe than that, but that was Gregg’s memory of it as a little boy, then as a teen.  I cannot tell you the intimidation I felt going into biscuit making.  But, having her recipe really helped, and I make wonderful, light, flaky biscuits.  Switching them to whole wheat was a little bit scary, too, but we love them that way as well.

MaMaw Lucille also made cornbread that could not be rivaled.  I tried brand after brand of cornmeal, recipe after recipe and just couldn’t compare to MaMaw’s.  Gregg and I were married for five years before I finally came across a cornmeal/recipe combination that he liked.  I used House Autry cornmeal and their recipe on the back of the bag, but I used brown sugar instead of white sugar.  I came up with a combination that not only was as good as MaMaw’s, mine was better!  (Sshh…the family might hear.)

I recently couldn’t find House Autry brand, but I (strangely – don’t know why) had another brand in my pantry, so I used it.  Gregg just didn’t like the cornbread that night.  I could tell.  When I told him what had happened, he agreed that House Autry must be the way to go.

As I was doing research for purchasing my grain mill, I read all sorts of “don’t do’s.”  One of them was don’t try to grind anything that was too hard, including popcorn.  But, when I got my grain mill (a NutriMill) the booklet that came with the machine said:

Popcorn will make the best cornmeal you’ve ever tasted.

The best?  Really?  Dare I mess with perfection?  A perfection that took me 5 years to achieve?

We had company coming over for dinner the same week that I’d made the other brand cornbread.  Two couples from church.  I needed cornmeal to make a batch of cornbread to go with my White Chili.  So, I decided, “Why not?”  And I ground up some popcorn.

Then I made a double batch of “Hallee’s Special Cornbread.

HUGE hit.  They loved it.  And by saying “they”, I mean Gregg too.

No more searching for “that” brand.  I will from now on use popcorn to make cornmeal.


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