Monday, June 16, 2014
Yummmm! Country cornbread cooked in a cast-iron skillet. This was a staple of my childhood. My grandma made it regularly, cut it into big squares and we ate it with all three meals. My grandpa used to say he wouldn't know how to eat without bread at the table because he used it to sop up extra gravy and push peas onto his fork.
I've puzzled over how she made it because I've had trouble duplicating the taste in my kitchen in Chicago. I finally hit on the cast iron skillet for baking and the use of bacon grease, both to grease the pan and to drizzle on the top. Good cornmeal flour helps, too, and no sugar. I'm still working on it.
Some ways I saw it eaten: sliced horizontally and filled with country bacon or peanut butter and jelly, or butter and green onions. My uncle Roy used to crumble it in milk and add dollops of sweet applesauce to make a dessert. All time fave, of course, is with beans and ham soup on a cold winter night. Nothing has ever tasted as good as the food of our childhood nostalgia does in our memory.