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Cornbread: A Cautionary Tale

Never offer Twelve Months of Baked Goods at your kids' auction.

"Hey ..." I figured, "I can bake. It's for a good cause."

No. Learn from my horror.

The family who purchased my "goodies" got in touch with me a week ago, and I sent them a cheerful email with suggested baked goods: lemon pudding cake, pumpkin pie w/ shortbread crust, oatmeal carmelitas (hubby's favorite), orange-chocolate muffins to gorge upon while drinking tea and reading the paper on Sunday mornings, etc. As an last-minute alternative, I offered a choice of cornbreads to counteract the sugary desserts.

Hahahahaha! Yes, the innocent little family chose cornbread: Gold and White Cornbread, to be exact, made with white corn and creamed corn.

I had noted on my recipe clipping: "dense, corny." I must have forgotten to note: "takes almost twice the listed time to bake all the way through, and will crumble when you try to eat it. Use spoon."

SO! I efficiently whipped up a batch of Gold and White cornbread ... scheduled to be picked up at 5:30 last night. (The mom was going to swing by on her way to pick up her daughter, otherwise I would have delivered it.) I slid the corn-heavy 8 x 8 pan into the 400-degree oven. I thought, "Hmm. Might as well make a batch for us while I'm at it." I whipped up a second batch, ready to slide right into the oven as soon as the first pan came out. Ding! "Hmm," I thought. "Doesn't look done enough." I gave the first batch another 10 minutes, then took it out, and set it aside to rest. I sipped my cup of tea and went back to my Sherlock Holmes book, never suspecting the monstrous rawness of the bread/batter/copious-corn abomination resting quietly in the pan, looking for all the world as if it might truly be enjoyed by auction-going people.

Well. After a few minutes, I (tried to) cut the cornbread into pieces, to place in my brave basket. Oh. My. Dear. Lord. At 5:10, I realized that the Misguided-Mistake-First-Month-of-Twelve-Interminable-Months-Treats were. Not. Done.

I broke into a sweat. I checked the time on Batch Number 2 of F&*$ed-Up Cornbread. It would be ready at 5:32. (Horrible sound of shame and suffering.) Sweet Little Lady of Innocent Family arrived. I sweatily explained and grimaced something that was meant to be a smile. I begged her to take Batch 2 of Abomination, which would (should! haha!) be ready shortly, and cooled, etc. She chatted for a few minutes, went to pick up her daughter so they could laugh for a long, long time while regretting ever bidding on Cornbread-Challenged Lady's Treats and also wishing they had instead bid on Family Portrait, or something, then composed herself, and came back for Month-One Treats. I sent Hubs out to her car with a basket of the partially-whole and partially shattered cornbread pieces of the second batch. "Tell her they're done ... but they may need to use a fork," I called.

I flung Batch Number 1 back into the oven. (Is stubbornness a flaw or a merit?) We ate it, damn it, and it was good. I used a spoon.