February 13, 2008
My cyberfriend Nan, who publishes a beautiful blog making women all over the world want to move to a New England farm, cook from scratch, and raise a family, recently gave info on how to make a delicious bean stew with cornbread.
On her blog she runs pictures of her dogs, the snow-covered woods, the cozy house, and mouth-watering food, complete with recipes.
Even so, she used a little sugar in the cornbread. I curmudgeonly made the comment on her post that Southerners didn't allow sugar in cornbread. The fact that I know that South Carolina and probably certain other pockets in the South they do serve sweet cornbread didn't stop me from my niggling complaint. Where I come from, the Gulf Coast of Alabama, a hint of sugar in cornbread makes it pure cake.
Here's the recipe I always use for cornbread, from Mrs. S.R. Dull's cookbook Southern Cooking, first published in 1941. Mrs. Dull was the food editor of the Atlanta Constitution for many years.
1 1/4 Cup yellow corn meal
1 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
2 Cups buttermilk
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
Beat eggs together until light. Add buttermilk, butter and salt. Add meal and flour mixture, being careful putting in, as meal varies and the batter should be a medium batter. Beat smooth. Put about a tablespoon of bacon fat into the pan (vegetable oil can be used) and keep the pan hot. Sift the baking powder into the batter. Dissolve the soda into a spoonful of cold water and add to the mixture and stir well. Bake at 400° for about 15 to 20 minutes, until brown and crusty.