Nothing makes me happier and more at peace with the world than getting up at the crack of dawn and doing something productive...especially when it involves the flea market. I spent many, many years scouring flea markets, thrift shops and yard sales furnishing and outfitting the many apartments I've lived in over the years. After 10 years in the same studio apartment I've feng-shui'd most of that crap back out into the thrift shop cycle of life and a weekend job makes a leisurely day at the flea market impossible.
Thanks to the friend I affectionately call my test kitchen dummy, I managed to make my first trip to the Alemany Flea Market before my day shift. It was still pitch black outside when TKD swung by in his pick-up a few Sundays back to whisk me off. I had one goal: to find a cast iron skillet. I had seen a recipe for Skillet Cornbread somewhere. Months ago. I became absolutely obsessed with getting my hands on a cast iron skillet with the sole purpose of making cornbread...just not badly enough to cough up the big bucks to buy then carry it around with me all day whilst riding a bicycle or public transpo. My early bird friend and his truck solved my logistical nightmare and I got to work by 10 a.m. having dropped off my $5 skillet at home along with a $5 pyrex measuring pitcher-a wide 4 cupper. I love it.
I made my first batch of Skillet Cornbread this weekend. It was not good. I found a recipe on epicurious that had potential but didn't call for any fresh corn. Weird. Lots of melted butter. Good. I added corn and browned the butter. More good. I used bacon grease to heat up in the skillet. Yum. When the batter hit that hot bacon-greasy skillet it sizzled. Awesome. That's what makes skillet cornbread special. The crusty bottom. Problem was the top third of the bread was underbaked though the top was well-browned and it was really dense and heavy. My mistake was having the rack too high 'cuz I was too lazy to take out my pizza stones and move things around. Live and learn.For this next batch I used Smitten Kitchens recipe for Corniest Corn Muffins. This batch was brill'.