Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Corn Flour as Social Media.

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” (, 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:

Blue Cornbread
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
2 eggs
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.

Mary Cokenour

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