Simple Nectarine Cornbread

When the Newmans offer you to stay in their country home on the Lake of Glenville, North Carolina, you don’t debate. You postpone your flight back home and stay a few days extra. Even if you’ve already spent ten days with your favorite aunt in her charming cabin, somewhere in Black Mountain. I can’t tell you where precisely, because I promised to keep it to myself – your relatives cherish their solitude.

I can finally say I was on a real vacation. I don’t consider my recent visits to Mexico City and London as holidays. My ADHD and severe FOMO never allows me to rest when I am in a major city. I always need a vacation after a week in Paris. Over the years I realized that the ultimate getaway for me is being surrounded by lush green, wild flowers and waterfalls.

My body worked hard–we hiked everyday for minimum 2 hours— but my brain was on a holiday. Not using my American Express for days felt like a retreat in itself.

Don’t get me wrong – I love cities “vacations”. I am an extrovert, I need people as much as I need trees and rivers. I could never give up cute coffee shops, museums, bookstores, or international supermarkets like Buford Highway Farmers Market, which my friend Dalia took us to when we visited her in Atlanta.

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Nature vs. nurture: it doesn’t matter what kind of vacation I’m on; if the food isn’t good, I’m miserable. Honestly, I came to the South with low expectations. I assumed the food would be mediocre or too greasy, but I was completely wrong. Almost everything we ate was delicious.

I wanted to cook for Elana and Loyd and begged them to let me, but they wouldn’t hear of it. They spoiled us so much that I was afraid I’d become a spoiled brat. However, when we arrived at the lake house, I couldn’t resist the Newman’s fully equipped kitchen. I prepared a batch of New York Style Bagels and egg salad for breakfast, fresh salads for lunch, and a hearty red curry that kept us well-fed for three days.

We hiked almost every day and spent the entire weekend by the river or lake. Elana, who’s a true nature enthusiast, took us on her favorite trails, followed by a picnic by a stunning waterfall. I’ve never seen so many waterfalls in my life!

While my husband worked during the day, I worked on my eBook, “The Ballade of Simple Salads.” Working in Elana’s serene shed in the middle of the forest without any distractions was effortless.

I couldn’t stop saying “wow”. The anxiety-healing landscape was impressive but so was the strong sense of community and celebration. Every day and night, people gather to drink local draft beer or mead (honey wine), listen to live music, and savor delicious cornbread. I always loved cornbread, but recently, I’ve developed an ear for folk music and tolerance for those with different opinions from mine.

Simple Nectarine Cornbread

This Nectarine Cornbread recipe combines juicy nectarines with a lightly sweetened, tender cornbread batter. Baked in a hot cast iron skillet, it boasts a crispy crust and moist interior, making it a delightful summer treat perfect for any meal.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time42 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Keyword: Baking, Bread
Servings: 6 people
Author: Shelly

Equipment

  • Cast iron skillet or a 9 X 10 inch pan

Ingredients

  • 3 white or yellow nectarines - seeded and diced
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups Kefir, buttermilk or plain yogurt - or vegan plain yogurt
  • 3 large eggs - beaten
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place a 9-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • Add the beaten eggs, Kefir, and about 1 cup of diced nectarines to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
  • Remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour in the olive oil. Rotate the skillet to coat it evenly with the oil.
  • Pour the batter into the skillet. Scatter the remaining diced nectarines over the batter and sprinkle with coconut sugar.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is cooked through. The edges should be crispy.
  • Let the cornbread cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

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