Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cornbread ~ One Man's Trash...

Is Another Man's Treasure.

I know you've heard that expression before. And are probably wondering what it has to do with cornbread. Usually that particular expression pertains to junque. Well, let me explain...

A few years back, Hubby and I had the pleasure of getting to know a German exchange student, Sascha. He was staying with a neighbor of ours. The neighbor happens to be a single man who also teaches at the local school. And, well, most single men aren't really 'into' cooking and this man isn't any exception! So, Sascha spent a fair amount of time over at our place - especially around mealtime. He thoroughly enjoyed American food. And like most teenage boys, he could EAT! And having raised 2+ boys, I knew how much food they can stow away and I enjoyed cooking for him.
Sascha liked it all. But his favorite was cornbread. He had never had it before. He had never even heard of cornmeal. And to Sascha, cornbread was like cake. Hubby made it often and Sascha devoured it! (Hubby is the Cornbread Chef in our house!)

A food that so many of us take for granted, was a treasure to Sascha.

Here is our recipe for Cornbread ~

1 cp flour
1 cp corn meal
1/4 cp sugar
2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt (optional)
1 cp milk
1/4 cp vegetable shortening (we use bacon grease)
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 deg. Melt vegetable shortening in cast iron skillet in oven - swirl melted grease around skillet to coat sides and bottom (let grease cool before adding to other ingredients). Combine dry ingredients. Stir together milk & egg. Add to dry ingredients along with oil. Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into prepared skillet. Bake 20 - 25 min. or until light golden brown and wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm, slathered in butter!

** A cast iron skillet will give you cornbread with a browner crust. Try adding chopped jalapenos or onions. Even green chili makes a nice addition.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

There's nothing that goes with chili better than cornbread -- yum!

Suzie said...

You know the key to truly good cornbread. .the bacon fat. The same for fried potatoes. And green beans simmered slowly.

My Mom always had a little lidded ceramic pot on the top of the stove where bacon drippings were poured. So did my Grammies and Great Aunts.
And while today's versions of the same dishes may be "healthier", none of them have that deep flavor that I remember.

I'm so glad to know that you are keeping up with the tradition!

JoyceAnn said...

I love cornbread made in a skillet , I think I'll give your recipe a try. We haven't had cornbread in awhile , my taste buds are calling for it (LOL).

Thanks for sharing the recipe.

~ Many Blessings ~

Jeanne said...

I agree with you Suzie - there's nothing like bacon grease to add flavor to cornbread or a pot of beans! I even use it in my sour dough bread recipes instead of shortening.
And I have a small container that I keep just for my bacon drippings.

Dede said...

Everything is so much better with cornbread. You are so right, hot and slathered in butter. Never added any jalapenos, onions or green chilis, but thinking this sounds really good.


Melinda Cornish said...

I love cornbread...with butter and honey...yuuuuuummmmmmm

Bridgett said...

I love cornbread! It's one of my favorites too.

I usually make mine into muffins.

Isn't that funny in Germany and never hearing about corn meal which is such a staple here?


Jenny S said...

I have NEVER made cornbread from scratch! I may have to try this. I have a few cast iron skillets at the shop that I need to go figure which one would be best!!