Saturday, February 28, 2015

cornbread for a snowy day

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…actually it's lovely but much too cold to go out in, let alone drive! The cardinals and friends have been mobbing the feeder all day.

There were some mentions of cornbread on Facebook, and that made me think of the best recipe, and here it is. If you want traditional southern cornbread, that does not contain so much sugar that it tastes like cake, make it according to the "receipt" of my grandmother Willie Elvie Chumley Miller, born in the hills of northern Alabama in 1881.

You will need:

pre-heated 400° oven
8" cast iron skillet, or equivalent Pyrex dish
three mixing bowls, large, small, and tiny (or a coffee-cup)

2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1-4 tablespoons butter

Put the butter in the skillet in the oven to melt and get sizzling hot.

Put the soda, salt, and sugar in the tiny bowl and mix them. Get all the lumps out of the soda.

Beat the egg and mix with the buttermilk in the small bowl.

Pour the boiling water on the meal and stir till it's all absorbed. There will be some meal still dry. Then rapidly stir the salt mix into the buttermilk, and immediately dump it over the damp cornmeal. Stir briefly. A few lumps are OK. You want to get it into  the oven before the bubbles of the soda and buttermilk have dissipated.

Scoop the thick batter into your sizzling butter and return to the oven for about 45 minutes. When it's done, hold the skillet upside down over a plate, and it will fall out, with the buttery bottom crust uppermost. Cut in wedges and enjoy!

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