I recently read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 to my kids. Ramona and her sister Beezus make supper for the family, and end up making several
weird interesting substitutions including banana yogurt for buttermilk and cream of wheat for cornmeal. In the book, it all turns out okay, but I secretly suspected it wouldn’t really be very good.
I really shouldn’t feel so superior to fictional characters, especially since I don’t have the excuse of being eight years old. Last week I started making corn muffins and halfway through, I realized I didn’t have enough cornmeal.
I had half a cup of the one cup called for, so in desperation I substituted five-minute grits for the cornmeal. I figured they’re both made of corn and it was the closest thing I had.
The muffins had a very. . .robust texture. Some (my husband) might even call it gritty. They weren’t inedible but I do prefer the texture of regular cornmeal. There is a lesson here – in the words of Beezus, “My cooking teacher says you should always check to see if you have all the ingredients before you start to cook.”