A dish for winter

Published 5:54 am Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Brrrr. The brisk air blasts my uncovered face as I scurry into the department store. Somehow a delusion of warmth followed me from my home into my patiently waiting vehicle in the garage. Now my shaking limbs feel the full effects of “Old Man Winter.”

As we all know life continues to warrant errands, work, and play even when the weather dips below our accustomed comfortable Southern clime. My blue woolen sweater with an extra layer underneath causes my Christmas poundage to look and feel like a sausage casing stuffed a little too tightly! I put off squeezing into my jeans for as long as I could, but today I sucked in and faced the not too beautiful music. A mournful sound with “Oh no! Not again!” lyrics rose from my lips.

Facing the new year with a few pounds to lose is almost a given for me. The freely-indulged-in tasty temptations of the holiday season stick to my hips and thighs with determination. All I can do is seriously plan fewer indulgences and healthier eating now that the holidays are past.

Why do the colder, winter days make me yearn for fattening fare even after the resolutions of the year? There just seems to be something about a nice, hot bowl of homemade chili with all the cheese and sour cream trimmings that warms me down to my toes.

My good friend, Rosie, invited me to come to her home this week for one of my absolute favorite meals on a chilly day, Mexican cornbread. I have been talking about how yummy her recipe is for a few weeks now. She, like me, is continuously trying to keep the extra pounds at bay so I must have weakened her defenses.

With her permission I will share her recipe, but I must warn you that this dish can be habit forming! We like to enjoy it with a steaming hot bowl of fresh turnip greens. In my world there isn’t much better than a warm fire, good conversation, and good food on a winter’s day. I know that moderation is the key to losing those holiday pounds so I’ll try not to indulge myself too much when she creates this delicious comfort food.

Rosie’s Mexican Cornbread


1 pound lean ground meat

1 large onion, chopped

4 jalapeno peppers, chopped and seeded

1 cup self rising yellow corn meal

1 can cream corn

1 cup buttermilk

3 eggs


Preheat oven to 375.

Chop 1 large onion and 4 jalapeno peppers.

Add onion and peppers to meat.

Brown ground meat mixture. Drain excess fat.

Mix 1 cup self-rising yellow corn meal with 1 can cream corn, 1-cup buttermilk, and 3 eggs.

Grease large iron skillet with vegetable oil and sprinkle with dry corn meal to avoid sticking.

Heat iron skillet. Pour half of your batter in followed by the meat mixture. Add 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese. Pour the rest of the corn meal batter on top and bake for 1 to 1.5 hours. Cornbread is done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes and slice in pan.


Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.