Sunday, August 2, 2009

Southern Gold...

A couple of days ago, while riding alone in the car with my Dad, we had the opportunity to talk about his problems with his garden this year. It seems he can't get much to grow and of course he blames the weather, as we all do when a garden isn't putting out. It is either too much rain or not enough. Too many bugs or none around to pollinate. As he was complaining about his lack of yellow squash he said "oh well, we always have cornbread." I wasn't really sure about what cornbread had to do with the poor garden but I got his point anyway and that, no matter what, we can always have cornbread. Cornbread is the golden jewel of a southern meal no matter what you are serving. Whether it be a mess of greens, squash and onions, sliced fresh tomatoes or smothered pork chops, corn bread is the one thing that can make a meal terrific. I love mine slathered with butter and broken in pieces to get small bites with everything else I'm eating. Dad loves his just straight from the old pan and right into the middle of his plate to soak up all the good juices. He always makes sure to take an extra piece for the end of his meal and with that he breaks it up into a tall glass of buttermilk that he eats with a spoon as his dessert. Sometimes he can be found later in front of the TV with milk glass in hand spooning up the last of the corn bread so not a drop is wasted.

He loves it that way, but over the years I have starting making it quite different at my home. I use the same cornbread recipe as usual but I add some extras to give it my favorite kick. After mixing the cornbread batter I stir in 1 cup of drained yellow kernel corn and then add 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. I always use my round black skillet for baking. To prepare my skillet I have added 2 tablespoons of corn oil and put the skillet with the oil in a hot 450 degree oven until the pan is very hot and the oil is starting to bubble. I remove the hot pan and pour my wet corn bread batter into the middle of the oil. The hot oil spits and spatters as the cool batter spread out into the hot pan. The oil slides up the sides of the cornbread, that besides keeping it from sticking, it starts to make a wonderful crunchy fried style crust along the top edge. So good I may have to go stick one in the oven for lunch. When it is golden brown and crusty on top I remove it from the oven and slice it into squares or pie shaped wedges. The extra ingredients give it a taste so special and unique. I have added some crumbled bacon to the top of the batter or even chopped peppers stirred in when I am in the mood for something a little different and that is fabulous too. I guess you can add anything that's your favorite to this southern gem and come out with a slice of your own heaven. Dad's right you know, don't matter what you got to serve for dinner since we always got cornbread.


  1. My goodness, reading your blog makes a person's mouth water. I need to try Mama's Gravy sometime, it sounds yummy. I think I will try it over rice. I guess to each his own. ;)

  2. Hi Jeanne, Your blog is fantastic and your jewelry is beautiful. And this cornbread looks divinely delicious. Thanks for visiting my blog and adding me as a friend.

  3. Mmmmmmm..I love cornbread! :D :D :D Have you tried it with jalapeno peppers? That gives it a real kick!