Even before we began our journey of corn, I knew in Appalachia, cornbread was the most common way folks today and in days gone by used corn in their daily diets.
Folks in Appalachia, and in the south in general, take their cornbread seriously. I’m sure you’ve heard the jokes about how cornbread isn’t supposed to be sweet and it isn’t supposed to be cut in squares. Growing up we either had cornbread or biscuits with our meals and most of the time it was cornbread.
Various recipes for cornbread are used throughout the country-even in my house. I make my cornbread one way and The Deer Hunter makes his a different way (that’s him showing off his cornbread in the photo above). I think the absolute must for making good cornbread-is the pan. It must be cast iron and it must be heated first to get the type of cornbread that is preferred throughout my area.
The Deer Hunter is one of those cooks who throws a little of this and a little of that in, cooks it all up and it’s always delicious. For his cornbread he coats a cast iron pan with vegetable oil, places it in the oven to heat, then mixes up cornmeal (we both prefer white and we use White Lily self-rising), a little flour, one egg, a little vegetable oil, a dash of sugar, and some milk. He sprinkles cornmeal on to the hot pan, pours the batter in, and bakes till done.
I’m one of those cooks who likes recipes:
- 2 cups self rising white cornmeal
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/4 cup veg. oil
- 1 1/3 cup milk
- shortening or lard
Before I even turn the oven on, I grease a cast iron pan liberally with shortening. If I happened to have some of Granny’s rendered lard I use that. I put the pan in the oven and set it to 475 °.
Put 2 cups of white self-rising cornmeal into a mixing bowl
Mix egg, oil, and milk together; then pour into bowl with cornmeal and mix thoroughly. If I’m low on milk I’ll use a small can of evaporated milk mixed with a half cup of water to make up part of the milk needed.
Once the oven has heated carefully take the hot pan out and pour the batter into it. The batter will instantly start to sizzle so be careful not to get burned. Put pan back in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until done.
Lots of folks love cornbread crumbled in a glass of milk. Probably my favorite way to eat cornbread is straight from the oven slathered in butter. Coming in a close second is crumbled cornbread with soup beans spooned on top.