Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Traditional Southern Cornbread

Cornbread has been a staple of the Southern diet for centuries. Unlike it's counterpart in the north, traditional southern cornbread is not made with sugar. Sugar Cornbread is known as "Sweet Cornbread" or more derisively "Yankee Cornbread."

Mama often made cornbread and it was a must when serving greens. I loved her cornbread and still enjoy a good "pone of cornbread."

Of course, there was one variation that I couldn't stomach and that was the Cornbread with Cracklin's. Cracklin's are bits of pork (sometimes even beef tripe if nothing else is handy) that are added to the batter. My grandmother loved Cracklin' Cornbread and once I mistakenly swiped a pieced before dinner at her house. You might enjoy it, but I found it particularly disgusting!

After I moved out on my own I wanted to make cornbread one night but had no idea how to do it although I'd watched Mama a thousand times. I picked up the phone to call and ask for the recipe. Amazingly, she couldn't tell me. She had no idea what the measurements were because she made it the way she'd been taught by eyeballing quantities and adjusting them to get the consistency desired. Finally, after playing around we managed to come up with some standardized measures.

Anyway, for a traditional Southern recipe you'll need a cast iron skillet. Like many traditional Southern women, Mama got hers for a wedding present it remained with her until her death over 50 years later.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Plain Flour
2 Cups Self Rising Cornmeal
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Butter
Buttermilk (as needed)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. In cast iron skillet melt butter in oven.
3. While butter is melting, mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
4. Add just enough buttermilk to make mixture slightly soupy.
5. When butter has melted remove skillet from oven and pour mixture into skillet.
6. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown on top and darker brown on edges.
Servings: 8 Yield: 1 Pone




 
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