I made a mistake today. I was busy. I had a lot I needed to accomplish, and I had an appointment in the afternoon too. The mistake was that I forgot to thaw meat out to cook for dinner. On my way home from my appointment, I realized it was only an hour and a half until dinner needed to be finished, and I had been too busy to think about it all day. I wondered what on earth I would do for dinner.
I got home and began going through the cupboards and the fridge. I found a can of pinto beans. I thought, “I could either do Mexican food or beans and cornbread.” I had been wanting to make beans and cornbread. I had made some bacon and saved the bacon grease thinking that I could use it in beans, but if I didn’t have cornmeal, I would have to thaw out some tortillas. Cornmeal is hard to come by here, and if I get it, I have to go hunting through the import shops across town from where I live, so I don’t always have it. I kept looking through my cupboards and found a package of cornmeal I had bought over at the Foreign Food Mart in Itaewon. I wouldn’t have to do any thawing. I could make beans and cornbread, but I also needed a quick vegetable. I remembered that I had cherry tomatoes in the fridge. I had my meal planned!
I began by mixing up the corn bread. I have several recipes, and couldn’t remember which one I had made last time that everyone likes so much because I make it so infrequently because of the lack of cornmeal and beans here. I know that my family likes the sweeter cornbread recipes, and I also chose a recipe that only used one cup of cornmeal because of the scarcity of cornmeal here, thinking that way I would have cornmeal for later. First, I set my oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, I got out a big yellow mixing bowl and mixed the cornbread up. I started by putting in 3 cups of flour. (A cup is 225 grams). After that, I added one cup of cornmeal. To that, I added 3/4 of a cup of sugar. Next, I put 4 teaspoons of baking powder and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. After that, I added 4 eggs, then 1/2 of a cup of cooking oil. Lastly, I added 2 cups of milk.
- 3 cups of flour.
3. 3/4 of a cup of sugar
4. 4 teaspoons of baking powder and 2 teaspoons of baking soda
5. 4 eggs
7. 2 cups of milk
Next, I poured the cornbread batter into the pan.
After I put the cornbread in the oven, I opened my can of pinto beans and put them in a sauce pan. I poured the bacon grease I had saved previously into the beans, and I salted the beans. I turned them on and let them boil a few minutes, and then I turned them off.
After the corn bread had baked about 20 minutes, I checked it. I put a fork in the middle, and it didn’t come out clean. There was still a little cornbread batter on my fork, so I put it back in the oven another 10 minutes. The cornbread was in the oven a total of 30 minutes.
If you have never eaten pinto beans with bacon grease in them, you really need to try them. They are what people call, “to die for.” I hardly use that expression, but my bowl of pinto beans was extremely delicious!! The corn bread was delicious too. Some people use recipes with more cornmeal or less sugar, but we like this style of cornbread because it tastes so good and melts in your mouth. The Koreans eat cherry tomatoes as a treat between meals like they are candy or something, so adding the cherry tomatoes gave us a vegetable, and something that everyone knows is good too. I accomplished something good that was easy, unplanned, and didn’t take much time at all. In the end, I didn’t feel like I had made a mistake at all.