Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chillaxed Weekend

Big Saturday yesterday. I got up early to make four dozen corn muffins - half jalapeno, half honey - for our friends' wedding, and then Keith and I went on the Tour de Coops. There were 26 chicken coops on the tour this year, all little backyard coops here in Portland, and there wasn't time to see them all, so we just devoted ourselves to the ones in our quadrant (southeast). Still a huge variety and lots of chickens. We got some excellent ideas for designing and building our own coop later in the summer. Pretty educational day and I scored some great gardening tips, too!

After the tour we straggled home sweaty for a shower and a change of clothes, then loaded up the corn muffins, a bowl of honey butter, and a bowl of pepper-garlic butter, and headed over to the wedding. It was one of the loveliest weddings I've ever been to, in the backyard of their new house, under the shade of a grand old maple tree. Centerpieces were fresh lavender in beer bottles with little candles scattered around, and the ceremony itself had musical accompaniment provided by the next-door neighbors' dogs. We ate delicious Texas BBQ and lingered over local wine and beer. Good times.

Today it's supposed to be hot - mid-nineties, what the hell - and they're predicting record-breaking heat in the triple digits for this week. Just to ruin my birthday, I suppose. The plan was to spend my birthday picking berries and lounging in the Columbia River out at Sauvie Island, but now that it looks like we'll have to skip town or spend the day at the air-conditioned movie theaters instead, we'll go do Sauvie Island this afternoon. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm sure I'll regret some of it when I pick too much and wind up spending the heat wave over my boiling canner. Maybe I'll just freeze the berries.

Anyway, since I'm proud of these corn muffins and they were super-easy, have a recipe.


2 cans creamed corn
4 c cornmeal, divided
2 Tbsp cider vinegar + milk to make 2 cups
4 eggs, beaten
1 c butter, melted
1 jalapeno, seeds and all, minced finely
2 c flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt (use black smoked sea salt if you have it)
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cumin
About 1/3 cup grated cheese (sharp cheddar or jack)

Preheat oven to 450 F, and grease two muffin tins (or line them with paper muffin cups). Heat creamed corn in the microwave until bubbling hot. Stir in half the cornmeal (2 c) until it's a thick mush. Mix in, one at a time, the vinegar milk, beaten eggs, melted butter, and jalapeno. Mix the dry ingredients together in another (very large) bowl, then make a deep well in the middle and pour in the wet mixture. Stir until just barely blended - lumps are okay - and ladel into the muffin tins, filling to just under the top. Sprinkle a little cheese over the top of each muffin. Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick/fork comes out clean. Let cool on a rack and serve the same day; they're too moist to keep well. This makes 2 dozen muffins.


  1. I just may have to splurge on this, maybe using some rice flour!

    You could publish an all-cornbread cookbook, my dear.

  2. Why thank you. I forgot to mention, this does leave a little batter left over. You can bake up the extra muffins (3 to 5 of them), or you can do what we did and use it to batter chunks of fish before frying them. Sprinkled with a little lemon pepper and topped with Keith's currant salsa, that fish was some of the best damn fish I've ever had!