Okay, so this won’t actually be a real ode. I played around with the idea of trying to write this in iambic pentameter, but there’s no way I could actually make it work. Cut me a little slack, Stephen still isn’t sleeping through the night. 🙂

One of the things we eat almost every week is cornbread — we both love it with chili especially, but also with just about anything else. Now, I may not be all that southern in a lot of respects, but cornbread is one of those things the South just does better. I realize that some of you, my readers, may be Yankees who do such things as bake sweet, cakelike cornbread. I want you to know that God still love you and so do I, but if there is an event at my house that calls for cornbread I will not ask you to bring it.

Ironically, my favorite recipe for southern-style cornbread comes from my mom’s side of the family, who are not even southern. Most of them that I know of live in the Kansas City area. Go figure. But I kid you not, this is hands down the best cornbread I’ve ever eaten. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is key to making this correctly, although in our last post when we had foolishly neglected to bring a skillet I did make it in a glass Pyrex baking dish. The results were acceptable but only just. To really get the full effect, it’s crucial to get the pan good and hot (the oil or shortening should be just starting to smoke) so the edges are all nice and crispy and fried.

As a side note, the original recipe called for white cornmeal, my mom generally uses 1/2 white cornmeal and 1/2 yellow cornmeal, and I’ve done both half and half and all yellow cornmeal. The only difference is in the color and texture (yellow tends to be a little coarser).

Egg Bread Recipe

shortening or vegetable oil to grease the pan (enough to coat the bottom with no bare spots)
a 10″ cast iron skillet

1 1/2 cups cornmeal – NOT SELF-RISING
3 T. flour
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

2 c. buttermilk
1 egg

Put shortening or vegetable oil in the skillet (a tablespoon or two, enough to cover the bottom and a little to spare) and put skillet in oven while preheating. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you forget, you can heat the skillet until the oil is almost smoking on the stove-top.) Sift together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat buttermilk and egg together in a small bowl; stir into dry ingredients just enough to moisten. Pour batter into preheated skillet (the edges should sizzle and puff slightly). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.