Appalachia Appalachian Food

Cornbread And Milk

Cornbread and Milk
So many of you commented about cornbread and milk-there was no way I could have left it out of our make do foods even if I’d wanted too. As long as I can remember Granny and Pap have eaten cornbread and milk. Granny has a glass almost every night before she hits the hay.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the dish-it’s just what it sounds like: cornbread crumbled in a glass (especially nice if you can use an old snuff jar you found up the creek) with milk poured over it. Some folks prefer regular sweet milk-while others like Granny and Pap prefer buttermilk.

  • Janet said she liked to sprinkle pepper on her cornbread and milk.
  • Kat remembered eating it with her Daddy-and said that she still eats cornbread and milk.
  • Farmchick said at her Mamaw’s house there was always cornbread and milk.
  • Wanda in NoAla said cornbread and milk was a sure cure for the munchies.
  • Norma said her grandfather thought that the perfect Sunday night supper was to crumble up cornbread into the biggest glass he could find, then pour in either homemade buttermilk or Borden’s buttermilk, which used to have big chunks of butter in it.
  • Becky said she liked having cornbread and milk as a snack.

I couldn’t resist googling cornbread and milk to see what came up. I found this site that has some interesting tidbits about cornbread and milk.

I suppose cornbread and milk is such a common denominator in our lives and the lives of our parents and grandparents-because the ingredients are common to most house holds. And they were common in days gone by as well. Pap’s family might have been poor-but they always had a cow and they always grew corn for meal.

I like cornbread and I like milk-I just don’t like them mixed up together-how about you?



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  • Reply
    December 29, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    I’m trying an old recipe for salt rise bread that calls for sweet milk. What is sweet milk? Is it a southern vernacular for whole milk or is it sweetened condensed milk or is it buttermilk…?

    • Reply
      January 2, 2021 at 12:19 pm

      Jessica-sweet milk is whole milk 🙂

  • Reply
    Joey H
    October 12, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    I loved eating this growing up and still do! In my early 20s and carrying this tradition on in Appalachian NC. My grandpa would always dice up some white onion to put in with his cornbread & milk. I love the extra taste the onion adds to it!

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    October 12, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    My goodness! If anybody mentioned cracklin’ cornbread, I missed it in the speed reading. Cracklin’ bread and milk was a full meal at our house–Ma, Pa, and three boys. We ate a bunch of it, winter and summer.

    • Reply
      Tina Weitzel
      June 22, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      Always had cornbread and milk while growing up in southern Ohio. Making some tonight!

  • Reply
    Laura Orabone
    April 13, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Loved cornbread and whole milk growing up – also milk over crackers! I live in the northeast now and tonight I added a drizzle of local maple syrup over my crumbled (not sweet) cornbread before pouring the milk over. Heaven on a spoon.

  • Reply
    Mark Mangus
    March 10, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    I love it! After the traditional hillbilly meal of brown (pinto) beans, cornbread and a green onion, my dad and I would take the leftover cornbread and crumble it in a glass. I would add regular milk to mine and he would add buttermilk to his. DELISH!

    • Reply
      Karen Perkins
      February 1, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      I LOVE corn bread an milk I’m 53 yrs old and was raised on it. Breakfast , lunch, supper or a snack nothing’s better

  • Reply
    Agnes Farr
    May 8, 2018 at 11:14 am

    I love cornbread and buttermilk. I add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and a few dashes of hot sauce. make sure that the buttermilk is cold. My great grand-dad would split left over biscuit, butter and toast. He then put in a soup bowl and poured warm sweet milk over them and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
    Thanks for introducing me to your website. You have taught me so much about the mountains.

  • Reply
    Mar-Kea QuLls
    February 21, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    My Father, 83 still has his cornbread and milk. What ever milk he has available, he eats them all. My children and grandchildren eat it with him and will even cook their own cornbread now.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Learned this while doing time, still a favorite. The flavors compliment each other perfectly.

  • Reply
    Carrollton GA Boy
    April 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I grew up in a Cotton Mill town (Carrollton, GA) in the late 30’s and early 40’s. My parents and other kin worked different shifts and so most of the time we had fresh cow milk and left-over cornbread (from noon dinner) mixed in a glass for supper.
    Talk about being good, this combo would beat cornflakes any day of the week.
    Kids of today don’t know what good dishes they are missing.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Memaw introduced me to this as a little girl! always have some when I’m feeling down. Simple, but such a delicious treat!

  • Reply
    Laura @ Laura Williams Musings
    January 5, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I loved this as and a child and still do. I have to eat mine wit regular milk though can’t stand buttermilk. My mother, father, and my oldest daughter ate it with buttermilk.

  • Reply
    W.V.A girl
    August 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    We always save leftover cornbread just for me.I love it with either buttermilk or white milk.I grew up on it.I eat it late at night or sometimes for breakfast.No sugar or eggs in for me.My daughter makes it just like my Mom did, the best.

  • Reply
    Randy Hermanson
    May 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I am a mountainman. I call myself that when I go to rendezvous (reenactments). It is unusual I consider myself that because I am from the flatlands. I have always wanted to move away to the country but jobs and family always kept me home. For the next six months I will be living in the flatlands of Central Illinois (corn fields and still not mountains) but I am thriving here surrounded by friends that think like me. I think the term Moutainman or Mountainwoman is a state of mind rather than a place we live.
    I love the down home music and always have. I also love the down home ways and have practiced them even though I have lived in a Chicago suburb.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

    ‘nother tardy comment, but like Ms. Sue I’ve just discovered your blog and love it! I also love cornbread and buttermilk and like several other readers, gotta have onions. Haven’t eaten much of it lately… A friend of mine from Texas introduced me to Fritos and buttermilk! A cereal bowl full of Fritos with ice cold buttermilk and fresh cracked pepper hits the spot!!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    March 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    a tardy comment to this post but I just signed on a week or so ago. I’m with Granny and Pap — Cornbread and buttermilk preferably with green onions. We also have Bean Shortcake every week or so — split cornbread and ladle on dried navy, pinto or any soup beans cooked with neck bones, ham hocks, etc. Top with chopped onions and there you have it! Bean Shortcake — yum

  • Reply
    Frances Masuda
    February 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Tipper,
    I ate cornbread and milk when growing up, and I still like it, and eat it when I fix cornbread. Married for 50 years, and whenever I do it this, my husband still teases me. He doesn’t know what he’s missing!! Ha I like to eat it while warm with butter on it before putting in my glass of milk. Yummy!!!!!!!!Antique Rose

  • Reply
    February 4, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I ate cornbread and milk as a child because, well, that was the only snack in the house. LOL I liked it then, but it’s been years since I’ve eaten it. It was one of my dad’s favorite snacks and because of that it has a warm place in my heart. Now, I don’t care for soggy bread, so I’m not sure how I would like it. LOL Oh yeah, thanks for the shout out!!!!

  • Reply
    grannis little corner
    January 31, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    My Dad still eats his cornbread and milk, as a matter of fact, he just had a big old glass yesterday. I asked him if he heard of gritty or gritted bread, and he proceeded to tell me how to make it. He said that be made his own grater. I told him that i’d follow your recipe and make him some. Thanks for the recipes Tipper.

  • Reply
    Luann Sewell Waters
    January 31, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Here’s the cornbread recipe that is my favorite and that I use in my Dutch oven cooking classes. Have also included a Spoon Bread recipe. Feel free to share both, if you’d like.
    Southwestern Corn Bread (Double recipe for 14 inch Dutch oven)
    1 1/2 c. yellow corn meal
    3 t. baking powder
    1 t. salt
    2 eggs
    2/3 c. salad oil
    1 c. milk or buttermilk
    3 chopped jalapeno peppers or 3 T. picante sauce
    1 can (16 oz.) can cream style corn
    1 c. grated cheese
    Mix ingredients in order listed in bowl. Pour into greased and mealed baking dish (2 qt. Pyrex cake pan) or Dutch oven (if well seasoned Dutch oven, will not need to add addl. oil or shortening). Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
    Spoon Bread
    Mix in a large bowl:
    1 17-oz. can cream style corn
    3/4 c. whole milk
    1/3 c. melted shortening
    2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1/4 c. chopped onion, if desired
    1 1/4 c. corn meal
    3/4 c.
    all purpose flour
    1 t. sugar
    1 t. salt
    1 t. baking powder
    1/2 t. soda
    Mix in smaller bowl:
    1 4-oz. can green chili, drained then chopped
    2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
    Grease sides and bottom of 10″ Dutch oven and then lightly flour. Pour half of batter into the oven. Sprinkle on half of chili and cheese mixture. Add the rest of the batter and top with the remaining chili and cheese mixture. Add top and bottom heat. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Check at 20 minutes. Remove oven from bottom heat. Finish baking with top heat only. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve while still warm.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I’ve never eaten spoon bread-but would like to try it. Hopefully someone will share their best recipe : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 29, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    While I’ve heard of this combination, I don’t think I would like it. I love cornbread and I also make it in a cast iron skillet. Milk not so much.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I honestly have never heard of that but it sure looks and sounds good.
    Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    January 29, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I know Mama used to make cornbread and buttermilk (in a glass!), but I don’t remember if Daddy had it too. Guess it’s a real depression snack.
    We always made our cornbread in the cast iron skillet. Does not seem like the right thing if you don’t use one. I still have the large cast iron skillet and the small one for smaller batches.
    But speaking of corn and bread, does anybody have a good recipe for spoon bread? I haven’t had it since my childhood, and it’s probably not the treat I remember, but I’d someday like to try making it for old time’s sake…

  • Reply
    Jeanna M
    January 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    My husband loves cornbread and milk, not me. However I love Ritz crackers and milk. Also my mom would always tell us to eat saltines and milk if our stomach was upset. Also when you get into the cornbread discussion there is always the sweet/unsweet kind. I love the semi sweet kind and my husband doesn’t like it sweet at all. Sometimes he gets it his way when I make it and sometimes he will just make it himself to make sure he gets it unsweet. LOL.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Of course, I like cornbread and milk together. As someone else said, I also like to mash up saltine crackers in a cereal bowl and pour milk over them. It is delicious. And, we had potato cakes tonight made from left over mashed potatoes we ate last night.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I don’t like them mixed up together. I prefer my cornbread with a lot of melted butter between a nicely sliced layer! My Papa always had a big glass of cornbread with milk before he went to bed. It always seemed like so much to eat!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Never tried them together, but separate sounds better. In our family a make-do dessert was leftover cooked white rice,raisins and cinnamon sugar, with milk poured over. This may explain why I love horchata, a Mexican beverage that tastes like rice milk.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    January 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    My parents and my older siblings loved cornbread and buttermilk, but when I came along, we seldom had that kind of snack. Perhaps because by then Mother had quit churning her own butter and had no “real” buttermilk. I had to try it one time just to see what all fuss was about. I love cornbread and it wasn’t bad, but a little too tart for me. Of course I had to use store-bought buttermilk and Daddy said that stuff is no good.
    My father in law made his supper on cornbread and buttermilk every night. His wife made him a little hoecake in a cast iron pan. I have a pan just like that and it does make good cornbread.
    I enjoyed the comments and seeing so many people who love cornbread with or without milk.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    January 28, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I’m like Anne from Mississippi. My Dad and I always ate cornbread and milk (as long as there was any cornbread left after sopping the butter-bean juice…)
    Still eat it today!!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    January 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I love cornbread but hold the milk. Too mushy for me.
    My grandmother liked saltines broken up in buttermilk –again, I like the taste but not the texture.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    That ole snuff glass filled with
    cornbread and milk sure brings a
    lot of memories back. I guess my
    grandma’s Bruten Snuff glasses is
    where we accumulated ours. But I
    enjoy cornbread crumbled and with
    milk poured over it or just a chunk broken off a cake and washed down with sweet or butter-
    milk. Kinda makes me happy, with
    the Blind Pig Gang playing in the

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    January 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Tipper:i have always loved cornbread, we called it corn pone, never liked milk of any kind.hope you are contending with the cold and snow,we have been lucky this winter, snowed at thanksgiving, then once in December,but 26inches of rain made up for it. heading down arizona way next week. taking my computer along to keep up with you. blessing k.o.h

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    January 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Tipper, I have ate cornbread and milk for as long as I can remember, I also like light bread and milk and soda crackers and milk. Years ago I started dicing up an onion in my bread and milk and crackers and milk. I guess you can tell I am rather fond of onions, I like them every way I can think of even on crackers and peanut butter, I may be weied in that way

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    i love cornbread and milk, either one, buttermilk is a tad better to me. guess what else i love. saltines crumbled in the glass and milk pour over it. yum

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    January 28, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Try putting a spoonful of sourwood honey in with your cornbread and milk, Tipper – I bet you’d like it then.
    Of course I’m pretty bad to like honey – especially sourwood – so I’d probably even like sheep sh** tea with some sourwood honey mixed in. By the way, if you’ve never done anything on sheep sh** tea – which was applied externally (as far as I know!!!) and similar remedies for skin ailments, you might want to look into it.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    We grew up with cornbread and milk. I prefer the sweet milk. It is a wonderful treat! Just crumble the bread in a glass or cup and then pour the milk on.
    I worked with a man years ago that ate milk and crackers the same way. I always said it sounded awful, but he convinced me to try it and it’s good too. Not as good as cornbread and milk though!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I can’t say, because I’ve never had it — but I think I would prefer them separate.
    Interesting! I love reading about what people in other parts of the country consider a staple food. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I agree with you, Tipper; I like corn bread & I like milk just not mixed together – seems you would have to eat it awful fast in order to keep it from turning to absolute mush, lol.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    My Dad, bless his heart, always ate corn bread and milk before bedtime. Mom always made the cornbread in a cast iron skillet and it never had sugar in the recipe.
    Thanks for stirring those memories.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I think I’m the odd (wo)man out. I didn’t know “cornbread & milk” was actually milk poured over cornbread in a glass. Now I know better!
    If we didn’t have any cookies, we had cinnamon & sugar toast (on buttered white bread, of course) as a snack after school.
    Anyone remember the cinnamon & sugar bear shaker?

  • Reply
    Shirley Metts
    January 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I’m from South Georgia, and cronbread and milk is good all year, but this winter has made it even better for cracking cornbread and buttermilk. my grand parents would have this in the winter for supper lots of cold nights. Just something about hot crackering cornbread and buttermilk to make you all warm inside before going to bed.

  • Reply
    Betty Blevins
    January 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I like cornbread any old way, with syrup, milk, buttermilk, or by itself. My favorite is with buttermilk,sprinkled with black pepper and sprinkled with cut up green onions and a fresh ripe tomato on the side. I told my cousin once when asked what I was eating, that this was my Carter County (KY) taco. I’ll give you another really good way to eat cornbread. While it is still warm break it up into chunks in a great big bowl. Add chopped onions, a drained can or pint jar of whole kernel corn,some chopped tomatoes,and a big bunch of those leftover pinto beans along with their juice. Fold all together. Dip some into a bowl,add a big dollop of sour cream, some of your favorite grated cheese, some crisp bacon pieces if you have them. Good for what ails you. We call this cornbread salad. Nice thing is, you can add or leave out what you want, and its good any time of day, or day of the week.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    January 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

    There is nothing better than cornbread and buttermilk. I prefer it to any steak; any seafood…anything! If I knew it was my last meal that’s what I’d want. But it has to be buttermilk. Sweet milk’s just nasty.

  • Reply
    B Ruth
    January 28, 2011 at 9:57 am

    As I have posted before my Mom ate black walnuts in her cornbread and milk…if she had them…
    My husband likes his with buttermilk…as did my Mom and his Mom…
    We never ate cornbread n’ milk in a bowl ….always in a glass…and I’ll have mine with sweet milk please…never buttermilk…ewwww…
    Could I mention one more thing about make do meals…
    When we had mashed potatos we always made enough to save for the next day…and we had the best potato cakes in the world…left a lot of time out on the stove for kids to grab for a snack…Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 9:40 am

    I’m with you, Tipper! Cornbread is lovely (though I prefer pone), so is milk, but I can’t abide soggy food!

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    January 28, 2011 at 9:27 am

    My father used to eat a glass of cornbread and milk every night before bed. Doesn’t get any better than that!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I’m from Mississippi, where everyone over 60 grew up with crusty cakes of cornbread cooked in cast iron as a staple at every supper. I don’t like cold cornbread, so no soaking it in milk for me. Heavenly is hot right from the oven, a tad of butter smeared on, alongside all country veggies, and as a special treat with honey poured over. Have you ever spooned your gravy over cornbread instead of potatoes or rice? It’s the best.
    Being from MS, my hubby can’t imagine letting that leftover cornbread go to waste. It’s a fact that a vase size glass of bread and sweet milk right before bedtime Does help one sleep much better..May the ole time traditions live on!

  • Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen
    January 28, 2011 at 9:16 am

    My father always saved a piece of cornbread to crumble with buttermilk poured over it, just as you’ve done, every night before going to bed. As a child, I thought the combination sounded awful and made a face when he mentioned it. Strange how our taste change as adults, don’t you think?
    I am a daughter of parents who lived through the depression. I’m sure that has something to do with the milk and cornbread snack.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I’m with you, Tipper, I like cornbread and I like milk but not together.
    My mother and my sister both ate cornbread and milk or buttermilk when we had leftover cornbread.
    The cornbread was always yellow meal cornbread. My mother preferred it. She said it had more food value. I only use white cornmeal, I’ve always preferred it. Don’t know why maybe just because my mother used!
    Sometimes it is hard to tell where family traditions begin. My mother always called white corn, horse corn and said it was not as sweet as yellow corn. I suspect that my mother was not about to eat corn grown for horses!!! That must have been silage corn or field/feed corn. I’m not sure.
    My mother and sister also had many a lunch of leftover cornbread with cream of chicken soup on it in place of the milk.
    They both also ate leftover turkey dressing/stuffing with cream of chicken soup. It was always cornbread stuffing, the same kind the deer Hunter makes, except he uses white meal.
    One more cornbread tale. My grand father, Paw, ate cornbread and molasses every evening for desert after supper. He would put a small amount of butter on his plate then pour the molasses on it and mash it up with a fork then put the mixture on his cornbread.
    I didn’t like that either…..I was a picky little kid who grew to be a picky adult and now a picky old lady!lol

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    January 28, 2011 at 8:58 am

    It’s like nectar of the gods. isn’t it? We always eat it with buttermilk- occasionally sweet milk.My Papaw had his crumbled in his coffee. Any way you have it. it’s the best eating.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

    When I was a kid, my grandparents always had an
    early dinner on Sundary and then later in the evening we would have either cornbread and milk or soda crackers and milk. I always had just plain
    milk because I didn’t like buttermilk. Another thing my granpa would make is molasses butter and cornbread for me. Brings back happy memories.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I have heard of cornbread and milk all my life, but haven’t tried it. I am going to make a cake of cornbread tonight and try it w/milk. My son’s grand daddy ate it but he would put a big ole
    gob of jelly on the cornbread first. That kinda got me to not want to try it back
    Have a great day,

  • Reply
    Jerry McKelvy
    January 28, 2011 at 8:17 am

    We grew up with cornbread and milk and I still love it. We also used split a cake of cornbread, but butter on it, and poured syrup like over it.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 28, 2011 at 8:09 am

    One of my favorite things EVER. I love it with sweet milk, especially if the cornbread is made what I call the old southern way – corn meal, buttermilk, egg, and some melted bacon fat (oil works, too).
    My mom had an old corn stick pan (not the ones that make the cornbread look like an ear of corn). It made plain sticks about 8 inches long and roughly 3/4 inch diameter. I loved them because there was plenty of crust. I wish I could find a pan like that one. Mom’s got broken and after she died, it disappeared – my Dad probably just threw it away.
    Unfortunately, cornbread means extra weight, so I have to go easy on it, but it will always be one of my favorite treats, especially crumbled up in a glass of sweet milk.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    January 28, 2011 at 8:04 am

    I don’t like the two mixed together, although that is the only way my husband will eat it.
    Graham crackers dipped in milk is a real evening treat that I would share with my father when I was young. I still do that, as do my grown sons, but my husband doesn’t find that appealing at all! We love to tease him, saying, “Good, more for us!!!” Ha!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I think cornbread’s good anyway you can get it.. I’ve eat it all my life and to have it crumbled in milk is a treat.Milk’s just a good way to wash it down.

  • Reply
    barbara gantt
    January 28, 2011 at 7:22 am

    My MOm always had cornbtead with buttermilk. My husband likes it with whole milk. I eat it but dont mix it. Barbara

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    January 28, 2011 at 7:15 am

    If Mama had a cake on the counter I would pass it up for a bowl of cornbread and milk. I was talking to a gentleman on the phone one day and he asked if I liked cornbread and milk and I said “of course”. Then he asked do I put the milk in the bowl first or the cornbread my reply was “no God Fearing Southern person would put the milk in the bowl first”!

  • Reply
    Donna W
    January 28, 2011 at 5:09 am

    As a kid I’d have cornbread and milk, white bread and milk, toast and milk (with sugar sprinkled on), graham crackers and milk (a real treat!) and crackers and milk. I still love all the above, but seldom have them.

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