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Malcom stands on a large rock overlooking the Grand Canyon. It's a clear, sunny day. He's gesturing away from the camera with his arms out at his sides.

Firm Culture

Introducing, Malcom Richardson!

Say hello to Malcom, Board & Vellum’s most recent addition. A helper by nature, Malcom brings genuine curiosity and the spirit of Southern hospitality to every interaction. When he’s not at work, Malcom loves cooking and urban gardening, isn't afraid to share a controversial opinion, and is graciously revealing his cornbread recipe to the world.

February 1, 2021

自己紹介させて頂きます。

Please allow me to introduce myself – I’m Malcom, Board & Vellum’s Client Care Manager, and I’m glad to make your text-based acquaintance.

Right up front, let me share my mission: be a helper, every day. I think watching hours of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood as a kid might have something to do with it, along with the vein of Southern hospitality I’ve carried with me to Seattle from my hometown near Athens, GA.

Malcom shows of a purply-pink
Fancy Service at Bon Ton

What may be Atlanta’s most Instagrammable family restaurant, Bon Ton, a must-stop for me when I head back to Georgia. I’d schedule a layover at ATL just to eat here, really.

What this means is that you’re likely to hear me ask some form of, “What is important to you, and how can I help?” at least once, no matter who you are or what you’re trying to achieve. Really, there’s no goal too small. (Hungry and can’t pick what to eat for lunch? I’m happy to help you narrow that down.)

Beyond my mission, I’ve got interests, hobbies, and opinions, too. I’ll share some of those next, and then round out this introduction with a cornbread recipe.

Malcom snuggles with his black cat, Elphaba, whose face is partially obscuring Malcom's.
Elphaba

Meet my cat Elphaba, who is old enough to drive this year.

You might have noticed I’ve mentioned food a few times already; yep, cooking is definitely an interest and hobby for me. In particular, I dove headfirst into the 2020 Sourdough for Survival trend, and I’ve been expanding my skillset in breadmaking ever since. I’ve succeeded with fully hand-kneaded brioches, babkas, pulla, Hokkaido milk bread, and more. I’m drawing a hard line at laminating croissant dough, though. There are just too many convenient and mind-blowing bakeries in Capitol Hill for me to try to DIY it.

A selfie of Malcom walking down the street drinking bubble tea on a chilly, wet day.
Bubble Tea on a Cold Day

Dead of winter, check, iced beverage, check. (Shout out to Oasis Tea Zone on Pine!)

Container gardening is another hobby and is only food adjacent. Though limited to my apartment balcony, I’ve grown an array of vegetables and flowers that bring hummingbirds and honeybees to my windows, and I love stopping to admire the secret wealth of urban gardens around Seattle. To my eye, a plentiful variety of edible plants is so much more attractive than a flat, monochromatic lawn. (Look, we’re getting to the opinions now!)

Additional opinions include:

  • Daily naptime should be adopted for all age groups and not limited to kindergarten.
  • Emoji are a net positive addition to communication 😎.
  • YouTube was better before it was a career path.
  • IKEA has a place in any home, with any budget.
  • Black licorice is not that bad, actually.
  • Iced coffee is an all-season beverage.
  • Die Hard is a Christmas movie and...
  • Pineapple does belong on pizza.
A picture of the famous John Lewis Mural in Atlanta, Georgia.
The John Lewis Mural in Atlanta

Southern hero, Atlanta icon, and a man who helped so many.

And now, having scrolled this far, congratulations! You’ve finally reached the recipe. Thanks for reading, was great to meet you, y’all come back now, y’hear?

Malcom's Famous Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 200g coarse cornmeal
  • 120g all-purpose flour
  • 60g granulated sugar or 100g honey
  • 20g baking powder
  • 7g kosher salt
  • 80g melted butter or 40g melted butter and 40g bacon grease
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg

Method

  1. Put your 10-inch cast iron skillet in a cold oven, then preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. In a non-reactive bowl, whisk your dry ingredients together.
  3. In a second non-reactive bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and 40g of your melted butter. Once combined, pour mix over the dry ingredients, and stir with a spoon or spatula just until no dry clumps remain.
  4. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven, then slowly add the remaining 40g butter or bacon grease to coat the pan.
  5. Immediately scoop your batter into the hot, greased skillet, then return the skillet to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. (If your pan had time to cool a bit, you might bake 30 minutes.)
  6. Let cool ~5 minutes before slicing into wedges, and serve with honey or sausage gravy.

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