This beloved bread has evoked many passionate discussions that extend from the north to the south. The Northerners prefer their cornbread sweet and the Southerners never add sugar. This Trini will avoid that controversy. Allow me to exercise my First Amendment Rights by claiming that I love my cornbread……on the sweet side.
I don’t recall making or eating my “first” cornbread, as much as I don’t recall sucking on the rubber nipple of my first bottle of milk(Klim). That doesn’t make it any less special. I have a special affinity for anything made with corn. I love corn muffins, corn casserole, cornmeal cakes, corn dumplings, payme, pastelles, puddings….
Some have tried to dissuade me from eating corn over the years claiming that it’s an unhealthy grain and also because some varieties are genetically modified, but there comes a time in a girl’s life (once or twice per year) when she just needs to eat what she wants to eat, or else everyone watch out. The cranky, psycho, you know who, will be sure to make an appearance. As my sister KK once passionately confessed to me on the phone, “I am so tired of this %^&;* healthy eating %^&;*”!!!!…Alrighty then….I couldn’t have said it any better myself…
For many years, the only cornbread I knew came from the blue box and I must admit it was very good too. Now that I am older and chemical sensitivities prevent me from eating most products from a box, can or bag I have no other choice. “I eat it only if I make it”.
This is a basic cornbread recipe I adapted from Allrecipes (directions have been changed) and the one that graces my dinner table every Thanksgiving, alongside the turkey and other delectable fixings. I also use this cornbread to make my dressing(also known as stuffing). After trying many recipes over the years, this is the one I gravitate to because it’s quick to prepare and that’s important when one is busy preparing about thirty dishes on Thanksgiving day. I could make it ahead of time, but I work best under intense pressure.
Cornbread is a great snack or accompaniment to any meal and leftovers can most certainly be used to make French toast or bread pudding. I liberally butter my day old cornbread and toast it in a non stick pan until it looks something like this…….[My 9 yr old loves eating it with maple syrup….]
According to cornbread aficionados, it’s best when baked in a cast iron skillet. My cast iron was unavailable during the preparation of this cornbread, due to situations beyond my control. In other words, I couldn’t find it. I chose the first skillet I could find, my 10 inch All-Clad, which didn’t disappoint. If you don’t have a skillet, use a greased 8 inch square pan.
The finished product with a golden brown top and heavenly, crunchy, almost cookie-like edges was buttery, sweet, grainy yet moist….….
Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
½ cup butter
2/3 cup sugar (I use equal amounts of raw brown and white)
1 cup buttermilk **
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup organic yellow cornmeal (I use Arrowhead Mills)
1 cup unbleached all purpose white flour
½ teaspoon salt
**No buttermilk? No worries: Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a 2 cup measure, fill to 1 cup mark with whole milk. Wait about 5 minutes. Add the baking soda to the buttermilk, stir and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees C). Place one tablespoon of butter in the 10-inch cast iron skillet you will be baking the cornbread in and place it in the oven to heat.
Melt butter in another pan over low heat (you will mix all the ingredients in this same pan so make sure it is large enough).
Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended.
Stir in buttermilk mixture.
Add cornmeal, flour and salt and mix only until just combined, with as few strokes as possible.
Carefully remove the smoking hot skillet from the oven and swirl to coat sides with butter.
Quickly scrape the cornbread batter into the hot skillet and return the skillet to the oven.
Bake until golden brown and crusty at the edges, about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven (takes about 25 minutes in my oven).
Slice into wedges or squares. Serve plain, or with honey, butter or honey-butter.
Enjoy for breakfast, as a side for lunch or dinner...as an anytime snack..
.......or with a hot cup of tea or coffee for dessert....
(...while singing that Marvin Gaye song...how does it go again?....Oh yeah...
"......Let's get it on..SUGAR..
.....giving yourself to me can never be wrong...."
You know how it goes people...)
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Talk to ya soon,
[...Hopefully...Pray that I'm inspired to
....leave the comfort of my bed to work on recipes.....]
With love always,