I think my deep affection for cornbread lies not in my experiences in the South, and does not result from eating frugally–instead, my love for cornbread is rooted in the Little House on the Prairie books. They were always eating corn foods – and Ma had a skillet that she used to cook the cornbread, just as my mom did. So, when my mom whipped up a batch of cornbread in her well-seasoned cast iron skillet, I was pretty much as happy as the Ingalls girls when they got tin cups for Christmas. [Yes, I was one of those girls who read all the books, even the ones written by the distant relatives, and watched the TV show and pretended to be Laura when I was making mud pies in the back yard. Who didn’t do that?]
I, unfortunately, do not yet have a cast iron skillet. However, I do have my mother’s delicious cornbread recipe. And, as of late, I also have locally produced wildflower honey, which makes up for the lack of skillet when I put slather it on a piece of warm cornbread. And, since the recipe is incredibly quick and relatively light (esp. for cornbread), it’s really easy to whip up with a casual dinner or for whatever else you need cornbread (like the broccoli ‘gratin’ I like).
1/2 cup cornmeal
1.5 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup oil
3 Tbs. melted butter
1.25 cups milk
Stir together wet and dry ingredients until fully mixed. Pour into an 8×8 pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or pour into muffin pans at 350 for 18-20 minutes.
Butter and honey are delicious with cornbread. I’m just throwing it out there.