Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Corn Bread

After my last post, I thought it good that I come out and say that I personally don't use Martha White Cornbread mix (nor the Michigander Jiffy Cornbread mix. I make my own from scratch. Below is my tried and true recipe... This is a repeat. I posted this recipe over two years ago--so some of you have seen it before! Photo is of one of my frying pans, the type of pan that needs to be well-seasoned for cornbread.

Sage’s Cornbread (remember—ingredients are approximate)

Preheat oven to around 425 degrees F.
Mix together:
1 cup of cornmeal (I mostly use yellow, but white works well too)
1 cup of white flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar

Optional variations: Add chopped jalepenos, pimentos, or a small can of creamed corn (reducing buttermilk slightly to make up for the liquid in the cream corn).

Add one beaten egg (make sure it’s black and blue) and a cup of buttermilk (pour yourself a second cup to enjoy while baking).

Mix until all the dry ingredients are wet.

Put approximately ¼ cup of Crisco into a cast-iron frying pan (or use bacon fat if you can spare the cholesterol—it’ll taste heavenly and if you eat of it, you may find yourself heavenly bound). Melt the fat/shortening. Add the mix into the frying pan and bake somewhere around 20 minutes (or until your toothpick comes out clean). If you don't use bacon grease, you can spread a bit of it on top with a brush to give the bread some of the flavor.

Now before you Southerners get all upset about me putting sugar in cornbread—as if I’m a Yankee—let me suggest you try it. They may not always be right up here, but sometimes they do have good ideas.

Serving suggestion: A bowl of pinto beans with onions on top, some turnip greens on the side, butter and jam and a jug on the table... It'll be a real feast!


  1. As a Yankee, I have never put sugar in my cornbread nor did I know it was even a north/south kind of thing. Other than the sugar, our recipes seem about the same except for the buttermilk. I have gotten to where I chop a jalepeno to throw in for a little kick.

  2. Ed, people in the South always consider sugar in cornbread to be Yankee Cornbread (see some of the notes in the last post). On the other hand, in the comments to my post of two years ago, I noticed that one of our favorite women from Florida confessed to adding a little sugar to her cornbread--she probably needed it).

  3. Yum - cornbread with jalapenos . . . I'll give the recipe a try, along with the variations! thanks, Sage

  4. p.s. since I like corbread that is half cake mix, you know where I stand on adding sugar!

  5. I almost forgot about this recipe and how I wanted to make it on one of those two cold nights we get here in Miami. I think if I add jalapeños, it would go nicely with chili. Any chili recipes??

  6. Instead of jam, I'd vote for some honey butter on a nice warm piece.

    From watching Paula Deen, I've heard that you Southerners love the seasoned cast iron skillets and that it takes a few rounds of using before it gets there. Is yours "seasoned"? And does seasoning mean not cleaning it after each use?

  7. Diane--let us know how it turns out

    Scarlet--I'll have to post a chili recipe--but you have to remember that often what I put into the pot has more to do with what I have on hand... last time I made chili, I used navy beans 'cause there were no kidney beans in the house!

    Murf, honey is nice. Yes, cast iron frying pans have to be seasoned and once seasoned you never was them with soap. I scrap all the food out, then risen it out with hot water, then put it on the stove to dry the pan (you want them very dry to keep from rusting), then after they cool, I put them up.

  8. cast iron skillet, essential kitchen tool!

    we had peas and cornbread the other day, YUMMY cold weather meal.

    I do use sugar in my cornbread, but not the flour. I'll have to try your version sometime.

  9. That's similar to my recipe, but I use only 3 Tablespoons of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Sage 2 TB. is too much!

  10. I respect you and your forage into sweetener, Sage. Is it a cultural nuance stemming from the South's poverty where experiencing with sugar in the mix might be construed as extravagant?

    I'm sure it is delicious and I can't wait for my husband to give it a try. I confess, I've eaten Jiffy o'plenty. It is so easy to fix, BUT I pour the mixture into my Southernly respectable cast iron cornstick pan. :D

  11. Hey Sage. If you have blog hopped much you have seen that we ladies TAG each other. I wanted to hear from male bloggers and you are one that I listed. If you will come over to my site and look for the post called 4 4 4 4, you will see the details. If you don't want to I understand but I would really like to know what you have to say. Let me know if you are going to participate. Thanks - Jennifer

  12. Sage -
    Thanks for the comment on my blog. We didn't get many oysters in north Mississippi because they weren't native to the Tombigbee River! LOL I think most coastal areas probably also had the oysters in their dressing at least part of the time, but we just had the pure cornbread dressing.

    Regarding the sugar, I have had cornbread dressing with a small amount of sugar in it, and it's not bad. I just don't want "Jiffy" when I'm eating cornbread. They get a little carried away with the sugar there, and it loses the taste of the cornbread. Of course, Jiffy does say "corn muffin mix" on the box, I think. You expect muffins to be sweet, but that's not what I want with my blackeyed or purple hull peas or in my dressing!

  13. Mmmm Cornbread. I made a cornbread pudding this year at Christmas. No one's dead and it turned out pretty yummy.

  14. Greetings from Missouri.

    Your recipe sounds like mine. Occasionally, I'll add a can of chopped chiles and cheddar cheese.

    Also, I'll fry up the bacon in the pan to snack on while its baking.

    Cheers. (Discovered you via Michele, but I'm not here as part of the game.)

  15. This is pretty similar to my Mom's cornbread; and she has lived all her life here in Tennessee where we pride ourselves on Southern cornbread. I agree that sweet cornbread is considered "Yankee cornbread," but a tablespoon or two of sugar is not going to give it a cake-like sweetness. She recently gave me her 8-section iron cornbread skillet, and with it her recipe, which to our family is THE definitive cornbread.