Monday, November 23, 2015

Mama's Southern Cornbread

The note on the recipe that Mama gave me says, "Got this recipe when Beverly started 4-H when she was nine-years-old."  She and I have used it time after time over the years.  I think the funniest story that goes along with this recipe is when my sister was nine-years-old and was making corn muffins for the local 4-H contest.  She would make a batch and then didn't think there were three that looked uniform - maybe the cracks weren't just-so, or they weren't the exact same size (because she didn't pour the same amount of batter into the tins), or maybe the color would be just a bit different.  My sister has always been a perfectionist!  We lost count of the number of recipes she stirred up before she got three nice muffins that suited her to enter in the contest!  I guess we ate cornbread for days.

1/3 melted shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups corn meal
1/2 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  I always mix this in a batter bowl with a pour spout.

  • Combine melted shortening 

with sugar.

  • Add egg 

and milk.
Isn't that a beautiful antique measuring cup?  It has three pour spouts on the top!

  • Stir together well.
  • In another small mixing bowl, blend dry ingredients.  Start with the corn meal.
  • Add flour.
  • Add baking powder and salt.

  • Stir with a fork to blend well.
  • Slowly mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients.

  • Stir just until well blended.
Batter will be thick and coarse.
  • Melt butter in iron skillet.  (You might also butter or spray a muffin tin if you would prefer to have a dozen muffins - or if you need muffins for your 4-H contest.)
  • Pour batter into the center of the melted butter in the skillet so the butter surrounds the batter and oozes over into the batter just a little bit.
I think my grandmother would be proud to know I'm using the cast iron skillet she gave me and taught me to season and care for years ago when I was a young woman!
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to set in pan for a minute or two before turning out onto a plate.

This is delicious eaten immediately.  It is even more delicious slathered with butter and eaten immediately.  I'm baking mine today so that I can make southern dressing for Thanksgiving tomorrow!

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