The Three Sisters: Corn

Cornbread with homemade butter by Fran W.
Did you know…

"Maize" is another name for corn!

Corn comes in a variety of colors such as: red, blue, white, yellow, purple, pink and black!

Activity: Cornbread with fresh butter

Native Americans ground corn into meal and made breads and flat cakes with it. Here is a delicious cornbread recipe that you can try.


To make this delicious cornbread, you will need:

4 T butter, melted
1 c buttermilk
1 large egg
1 c creamed corn

1 c yellow cornmeal
3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour 
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T plus 1 tsp baking powder

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place a 9" pan or cast iron skillet in the oven for 5 minutes, when you remove it, coat the pan, including the sides, with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  • Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, buttermilk and the egg into a blender and turn it on high speed until all the ingredients are mixed well - about 20-30 seconds.
  • Place all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. 
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the creamed corn and the contents of the blender into the well. Stir until smooth and then pour the batter into the prepared pan or skillet. 
  • Bake cornbread in the center of a 450 degree oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until the cornbread turns golden brown and a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean. Allow cornbread to stand for 15 minutes before serving with freshly made butter. Refrigerate unused cornbread.

Make your own butter

While you're waiting for the cornbread to bake, make some fresh butter!

What to do: 

Add 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream, a dash of salt and a clean marble to a clean plastic container. Put a tight fitting lid on the container and shake vigorously until the heavy cream separates and a ball of butter is formed. This can take 5 minutes or more, but don't stop once you begin. Pour off the liquid (called buttermilk) that separates from butter solids, remove the marble, knead the ball with a spoon to remove more of the buttermilk and enjoy your homemade butter on warm cornbread right away.


Tip: If you like sweeter butter, make homemade honey butter by mixing a teaspoon or two of honey into your fresh butter. A dash of cinnamon can be added too!

Note: Retain the buttermilk and use it in another baked item or drink it.
Do not try to store the butter for more than a day or two using this process, if you would like to keep homemade butter longer, check out these directions to learn how.

Question of the day:

Native Americans used every part of an ear of corn to make different items.

What kind of things did the Native American's make out of ears of corn?

This would include: The husk, silk, kernels, and cob.

Learn more:

Find out the nutritional value and health benefits of corn.

Activities that are corn related.  

Learn about the history of corn.

Find out how ever part of an ear of corn can be used.

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