Photo: Pig-gy, Flickr
How close to "from scratch" are you willing to go? Would you, say, grind your own corn for cornmeal? Buy some artisanal stone-ground meal? Or make these corn-and-pepper muffins starting with a box of muffin mix and add some jalapeño chiles and red and green peppers? One is no more noble than the other; it's the simple act of baking them and handing them to people you like that's the thing.
Someone, somewhere is going to grind that corn, though, and if you decide you want to go back to the essentials, you may want to arm yourself with a Vita-Mix blender or a good coffee mill, according to this how-to story in Mother Earth News. A coarse grind will give you plenty of texture, medium is great for breads, and a fine grind is better for dusting baking pans.
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