KEEPING SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY ALIVE IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Cornbread

Difficulty Level is 2 (on a Scale of 1 to 5)

Read how I got this recipe for genuine Georgia Cornbread in the yellow box below. I use the substitutes [shown in red] when I make cornbread for my family, and it is equally delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sour milk [substitute 2 cups buttermilk]
  • 2 Tablespoons melted fat or bacon drippings [substitute 2 Tablespoons butter]
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (for greasing the skillet)

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Sift together cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and milk. Stir into dry ingredients. Add melted fat [or butter].

Put 2 Tablespoons butter in a 10 1/4" iron skillet and place in the preheated oven until pan is hot and butter is browned. Carefully pour batter into the hot pan. The skillet should be hot before putting in the batter. The quicker it cooks, the better it is. If you prefer a thinner cornbread with crispier edges, divide batter between two iron skillets, or cut the recipe in half (1 cup cornmeal, 1 egg, etc.). Bake at 475 for 20 - 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

THE WORST CORNBREAD SHE EVER ATE

I've always loved theme parties and theme restaurants, so when my husband and I opened a restaurant in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, we had to have a theme. The town was supported by the coal mining industry so we named our restaurant the Pick 'n' Shovel. The entrance was designed to replicate a coal mining shaft, the side servers were old wood stoves, and coal mining tools were displayed on the walls. However, the waitresses stole the show with their black jumpsuits, nail aprons, white hard hats and black smudges on their cheeks. Visitors came from all over. One 94-year-old customer called our cornbread "the worst cornbread I ever ate." Then she offered to send me the recipe that her family had used since the Civil War. I was surprised when she actually did send it, along with a sweet note wishing us success with our restaurant! I wish I could see her today and tell her I've enjoyed her recipe for over 30 years and my daughter now proudly serves it to her family in New York City. Thank you for your hospitality, Miss Julie!