Phyllis’s Cheese Corn Bread

Mike and Phyllis were friends of ours when we lived in western Kentucky. Mike was a fellow teacher in the English Department at Murray State University. Besides introducing freshmen and sophomore students to great literature and trying to teach them to write grammatically correct sentences with meaning, Mike also was a talented musician. We had many enjoyable afternoons and evenings listening to Mike and our friend Pete playing their guitars and singing folk songs.

I don’t remember Phyllis singing along with us, but she kept us well supplied with plenty of her Kentucky cooking. She and Mike had a place in the country and cultivated a big garden. Phyllis canned the vegetables and fruits that flourished in their yard. She once said that she loved falling asleep listening to the lids “ping” as the jars cooled on the kitchen counter. I know how she felt, for I have given thanks for every “ping” that told me another jar had made it through my inexperienced canning procedures.

Here is a recipe in Phyllis’s neat handwriting that we classify as a winner. It is probably better with home-canned corn, but even a can of store brand whole kernel corn will do just fine. For those of you who do not really like corn meal in bread, you will notice that this recipe has none. It is a wonderfully moist bread that reminds me of dinner rolls. Eat it warm with plenty of butter.

We recently enjoyed it with Easy Eggplant Parmesan. You might want to try that combination this summer while eggplants are still available at your local farmers market.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted shortening or oil
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup whole kernel corn

PROCEDURE:

Preheat the oven to 400º and grease a nine by nine-inch baking pan. Beat the egg in a small bowl for a few seconds until it begins to turn lemon colored and drain the corn. Grate the cheese and melt the shortening if necessary.

Put the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir them together. Whisk the milk and oil into the beaten egg and stir that mixture into the dry ingredients. Blend in the corn and cheese. Stir just until the flour is moistened; this batter should be lumpy.

Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake on a center shelf for thirty-five to forty-five minutes until the top is golden brown. You can check for doneness with a toothpick inserted near the center of the pan. If it comes out clean, the bread is done.

NOTE: Use either medium or sharp Cheddar cheese for the best flavor.