The term “social media” designates sites on the internet (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter to name a few) where people could keep in touch with friends, family, business associates, and even make new found friends. It is a way to keep up with the latest news on the home front, as well as around this vast world; a way to learn about other cultures and places to explore. The term “social media” has now become an oxymoron; a rhetorical device that uses a self-contradiction to illustrate a rhetorical point or to reveal a paradox; sometimes used to create some sort of drama. Don’t understand what I’m referring to? Think about it, while cooing over the latest baby photos, how many friends and/or family members were horribly bashed, then unfriended and blocked, because they didn’t agree over some political event? Maybe it was a negative life experience, someone needed to be blamed; easy targets are those people who are nothing more than a name on a computer screen.
Hark, not all is lost on social media; there are havens of sanctuary called “groups”; where folks of like mind can gather, talk, share and not have to put up with the negativity. One such group I joined is “Navajo and Pueblo Cooking” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1545140772414467/), administrated by Pauline Haines who runs her own bakery in New Mexico. The members of this group are mainly Navajo, but anyone can join, so long as they have a love for cooking, and learning about new recipes and techniques. This group is a good example of what social media should be, but we humans simply love the drama; sorry, not in this group. Recently I learned about blue cornbread and a video on YouTube from “Navajo in the City” was featured; many gave their own take on the recipe, but overall it was met favorably. I haven’t played with any Native American recipes lately, so here was my inspiration.
First the recipe:
From Navajo in the City
1 and ½ cups blue cornmeal (roasted is best)
½ cup white flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
½ cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 400F. The cook used a 9 x 13 baking dish, but didn’t mention if it was pre-greased. With cornbread, usually a smear of butter or baking spray is used to keep it from sticking to the pan.
Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl (I sifted them). Whisk together the wet ingredients in a small bowl, then pour into the dry ingredients; mix as you pour. Place batter into baking dish, bake for 25 minutes.
However, and you know I do this from reading my articles, doing something different was in my plans. After creating the batter, I divided it in half; the first half was spooned into a muffin tin with paper liners. Into the second half of batter I added 1/2 cup of blueberries carefully folded in, so as to not break them. Into another muffin tin with paper liners this went into; use an ice cream scoop as it gives the perfect portion for muffin batter. Again, 400F for 25 minutes for 12 muffins, and a toothpick inserted into the center came out perfectly clean. By the way, many don’t like baking with blueberries as they have a tendency to be too juicy, and their blue color leaks. Not with this recipe, it’s already blue!
|Pink liners get the batter with blueberries included.|
Now for the taste testing (it was just hubby and myself), as is, the muffins weren’t anything to write home about, a bit bland, moist and not too crumbly. The cook on the video said she was primarily making the cornbread to create a “stuffing” later on. However, she also stated this recipe is similar to making blue corn pancakes, just add vanilla.
Let’s try out some typical muffin fixings: Cream Cheese – No; Butter – Meh; Honey – Yuck; Cactus Jelly – To Die For! We both tried the cactus jelly combined with each of the other ingredients; while an improvement, the jelly alone was the huge winner. Another item we both agreed on was the blueberry addition as a nice touch, but next time add more (2 cups for 12 muffins should do the trick).
There you have it, next time you’re on a social media site, and not feeling very social, learn to bake or cook something. Challenge yourself, not antagonize others.