Oct 1, 2008

Dixie Cornbread (Go Dawgs!)

I got an email from a reader, Terri (Who is originally from Georgia -Go Dawgs!) telling me she made world famous cornbread. I was intrigued.

Then she told me that her husband said she made better cornbread than his MAMA. I was stunned.

THEN she told me that her cornbread recipe included TWO CUPS OF BUTTERMILK. My jaw was hanging open.

I had to try this. She offered the recipe (on accounta she's so nice!) and of course I said yes (on accounta I do NOT make it a habit to turn down world famous recipes of cornbread that include two cups of buttermilk and make husbands turn on their Mamas).

It took her a week or so to get it to me and I have to admit I was getting kind of worried that she may have decided to keep it a secret after all. When I did finally get it, Terri (Go Dawgs!) and I had us a bit of an OMG moment. It turns out the very cookbook she got this from, which is a rare one printed in the seventies, just happened to be the very same cookbook I was laying in bed leafing through as her email came through on my iphone. Spooky or Fate? After having been fortunate enough to get to know Terri (Go Dawgs!) through email, I can definitely say it was the latter.

Let me tell you my personal experience with this cornbread :EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY GOBBLED IT DOWN. That may not seem like that big a deal until I tell you that up until I made this, cornbread had not ever passed the lips of either of my children (they are weird). My husband (whom I've mentioned before must have been dropped on his head as a child because of his extremely strange aversions to some staple southern dishes despite having been born and raised just outside of Atlanta) even ate a rather large piece and came back for seconds.

I have never had cornbread so moist in all of my born days. I am flabbergasted and feel certain that no small amount of my existance has been wasted up until tasting this. My in laws are coming to visit this weekend from Georgia (Go Dawgs!) and I plan on having this in the oven when they pull in the driveway.

It feels awful good to be able to grant meaning to the lives of others simply by making cornbread. ~grins~

So without further fuss (On accounta I don't want to stand between you and this cornbread, because standing in between anyone and THIS cornbread is NOT a safe place to be), here is Terri's (Go Dawgs!) Dixie Cornbread!

You'll need: White corn meal, buttermilk (Or put a tablespoon of lemon juice in whole milk and just don't tell anyone you did that!), an egg, baking soda, flour, salt, and...bacon grease.
We might have just lost some of you on that one! Southerners reading this just had their mouths set to watering, but if you aren't from here you might not feel so fondly about the thought of using bacon grease in cooking. You might not even look so fondly on my little mason jar of collected bacon grease. Hey, we all have them. Go to any Southerner's house that actually cooks and look around. You'll likely see an old soup can on their stove or a little grease jar with a lid. Open it up, Bacon Grease.
Oh alright, if you just really can't manage bacon grease, you can use melted butter in place of it, but try to do better next time, okay?
Preheat oven to 450. Slather a cast iron skillet with Vegetable Shortening (Crisco). If you really want to make this and don't have a cast iron skillet, you can use a cake pan. Do this same thing with it.
Stick skillet (or pan) in oven while it preheats so it will be good and hot.
Whisk your corn meal, flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
Add melted bacon grease, or melted butter for the faint of heart.
Add your egg...

And buttermilk.
(Yes, I actually bought buttermilk for this instead of using my usual shortcut of lemon juice to whole milk. Shocking, I know)

Like so. Now we're going to stir it all up.

Until it looks like this.
Now get your hot skillet from the oven (Carefully) and pour the batter in. It should be hot enough that the batter sizzles when it comes into contact.

Place that back in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until you can't stand the waiting anymore!

Twenty minutes was just agony.
To top it off, family members kept emerging from their respective holes and asking "What is that smell? When is it going to be ready?"
Remove from oven when you can't take it anymore....
Turn it out onto a plate. For this cornbread, I used one of my grandmother's plates. It just seemed fittin'.
Eat it hot, with butter.
Take a bite and see if you don't yell out "Go Dawgs!"


Preheat oven 450

1 1/2 cups enriched white cornmeal
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons of bacon drippin's or melted real butter
1 tablespoon Crisco

In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, add a tablespoon of Crisco and preheat. Sift together dry ingredients; add buttermilk, egg, and drippings, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Pour into the greased, hot skillet. Bake in preheated hot oven at 450 for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with butter.

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Southern Plate said... | October 1, 2008 at 10:37 PM

Oh my LAWD y'all have got to try this!!

bethk said... | October 1, 2008 at 10:52 PM

I can't wait. I am fixing some butterbeans with sausage tomorrow so I'll have to add this to the menu. Roll Tide

Deanna said... | October 1, 2008 at 11:04 PM

I am definitely going to try this recipe.... tomorrow!

And like Beth said, "ROLLLL TIDE!"

Southern Plate said... | October 1, 2008 at 11:13 PM

LOL! I'm sure Terri won't mind if her cornbread makes you say Roll Tide or even War Eagle for that matter! Hee hee!

Oooh I LOVE me some butterbeans!!

What is awful is that when you said "Roll Tide"I looked at my husband and asked "Hey, are the bulldogs a football team?". LOL Terri is gonna kill me. She says that a lot so I included it for fun. All I know of sports is that it gives you a chance to cook neat finger foods! My grandaddy was a Tide fan. :) Hubby is from GA.
Closest I come to choosing hinges on the fact that I look better in navy than I do Crimson :)

Turns out I inadvertently broke one of my rules of things I won't ever talk about on Southern Plate! The other two things are Politics and Timeshares. I figure either of the three of those could get you "good an' kilt'" in the south.

I'm just gonna go make us up a mess of greens and some of this cornbread while y'all watch the game....

BillGent said... | October 2, 2008 at 12:02 AM

Hot Dang this looks good.. Daddy might just keel over from excitement. Butterbeans sound good too.. with some green onions... yum.

I've been canning pickles all day at my new temp job. I smell like a giant pickle but my sinuses are clear! These pickles are canned with a huge jalapeƱo, two cloves of garlic and a sprig of dill. Dang they are good.
Getting more canning info than I ever thought possible between you and the job lol.

Donna in VA said... | October 2, 2008 at 7:43 AM

My mama used to keep her bacon grease in a can on the stove, and that's what I did for years . . . until I grossed out a neighbor once. He wasn't from the South and he did NOT understand. He thought it was disgusting keeping FAT. Of course I'm keeping it, I told him. However, now I keep my bacon grease in the fridge. . . but I still keep it. It's a sin to throw away that yummy deliciousness.
As for the cornbread - MUST try it! My mama's cornbread is dry and I only enjoy it when I can crumble it into a bowl of beans to make pot-licker and bread. (Folks up here haven't ever heard of that either. You'd think they were from another country.)

Tomato Lady said... | October 2, 2008 at 8:25 AM

I think I have my new cornbread recipe. Thank. You. (I remember that can of grease on the stove--except we saved it up to give to the neighbors for their soap day!)

Mommy's Kitchen said... | October 2, 2008 at 8:39 AM

That cornbread looks beautiful. I am going to have to make it this weekend to accompany one of my meals. I have my bacon grease in the fridge so no grossing out any people. Not sure which meal to have it with mabye chicken fried chicken or my chicken and rice casserole. decisions decisions.

Joan said... | October 2, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Gosh that sounds so good. I'm not sure if its the recipe or the way you describe it. Your such a good writer! I cannot wait to try this!
What should I do with the 12 boxes of Jiffy that just seem to keep multiplying in my pantry? LOL

Southern Plate said... | October 2, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Y'all, I almost didn't make it! ~gasps for her first breath of internet infused air~

Whew! Alrighty then, on to comments!

Hey Bill!!! I owe you an email!!! I'm sorry! I'm behind on emails this week. My mom is out of town and she had been shipping out all of my cookbooks but with her gone I'm doing that as well and with my in laws coming tomorrow and my brother's restaurant opening next week and my sister needing a term paper written for a class having to do with her bachelor's degree......wait...i mean, I have a lot of stuff to do and I'm also trying to help out my english comp impaired sister by tutoring her, yeah, tutoring. Thats what I'm doing!

Anyway! my point was that I am a little behind on emails but I promise I will catch up! And now Kate just got up from her nap and wants her new tap shoes and leotard on so I need to run and dress my little dancer so she can perform in our living room tonight........
But I'll be back!!!!!!!!!


Beverly in NC said... | October 2, 2008 at 5:01 PM

That looks just like my mother's cornbread on my mother's plate - it's like the oldest Corelle dinnerware ever!!
I'm trying this tomorrow night. My mother could never give me exact measurements for her cornbread and therefore, mine only occasionally turns out moist enough.
Oh yeah, ev'ry propah suthun gal has a can of "grease" somewheah in huh pantry.
Go 'Heels!!!!

Stephanie said... | October 2, 2008 at 7:32 PM

Wow, that does look good! I love corn bread, and I love it nice and moist. I'm definitely going to have to try this.

Southern Plate said... | October 2, 2008 at 10:17 PM

Donna LOL! I know a lot of folks who keep theirs in the fridge, too! Maybe I should give in to peer pressure . Oh you are making me hungry! We are just now getting a chill in the air, I’m ready for some good bean weather!!!!

Tomato Lady Hey!! Yay! I do hope you get to try this, I feel certain you will like it as much as I do! I have my mother converted too!!! WOW!

Tina ~waves~ Hey sis! All of your meals sound great, what time should I be there! ? hehe

Joan Oh my gosh, thank you so much!! I’m blushing and giggling and grinning from ear to ear at your compliment to my writing!!!!!!!!! I LOVE to write. I am always writing something. I’ve never had this many people read what I write before and it makes it a WHOLE lot more fun!!!

Hang on to that jiffy mix, I’m going to make something with it next week for ya!!!!!

Beverly HA!!!!!!!! I found another kindred spirit!! I know, my grandmother didn’t quite understand why I asked her for one of her dinner plates but I am so glad I did. I use it for special cakes (her recipes) and cornbread. I’m just so used to seeing those things on THAT plate as a child and it may just be corelle, but it is still every bit an heirloom to me.

I do hope this recipe works out for you and that it is like your mothers. I know all too well the heartache of losing recipes that meant so much to our lives.
You’re right on the grease! Hehe! I’m a proper southern gal, honest!!!

Stephanie Let me know if you get to try it! I’m so thrilled you’ve hung in with me this long, Stephanie! I’m grateful to have you !

Thanks to all of y’all!!!

shyla said... | October 3, 2008 at 10:14 AM

I met this lady in ( 79yrs old ) Murfreesboro, Tn, 2001 where i lived at the time. She maded the best cornbread i have ever had. Said it was a family recipe would not give me recipe.
So yes i will definitely try this. Have been trying to find cornbread recipe like hers for yrs. By the way what cookbook was u talking about rare from 70'S

Sugah said... | October 5, 2008 at 3:49 PM

De cornbread is yummy! We luv Terri's cookin' even if she is a bulldawg! Geaux Tigers!!!

Southern Plate said... | October 7, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Shyla One of these days I’ll blog about the time I got lost in Murfreesboro….my mother still laughs about it.

Would not give you the recipe? Ugh, what a shame! It also puts you in an awkward spot when you go to the trouble to compliment someone so much on a dish that you want to make it for your family and then they won’t share it. To me, its one of the highest forms of flattery to be asked for a recipe to something I made! Well, y’all probably know my stand on the whole sharing recipe thing.

The cookbook I was talking about is the best of Georgia or the taste of Georgia, I’m not sure the exact name but I’ll have to go get it and I’ll put a photograph of it in my next newsletter. My daughter is asleep in my room now and that’s where the cookbook is.

Shyla, I hope this cornbread ends up tasting even better to you than that sweet little old lady’s.
I sincerely hope, for her family’s sake, that she has written it down and taught it to someone.

Sugah ~grins~ I just love how you talk! I know Terri loves you, too, despite her fault of being a bulldawg!

Thank you for reading Southern Plate!

Yankee1969 said... | October 7, 2008 at 10:31 PM

Ok, please don't shoot me. I understand that Southern cornbread isn't sweet. I made the recipe and it came out great. Perfectly golden brown and crispy. However, it turns out that this native Maine boy, despite years in the South and Southwest, prefers a sweet cornbread. Any idea on what would happen if I added some sugar, aside from the universe collapsing in upon itself? :)

Southern Plate said... | October 7, 2008 at 11:26 PM

~pulls Yankee aside and whispers~ "Shh, just do it and don't tell anyone. It'll be just fine. Your secret is safe with me" ~ grins and winks as she hands Yankee a Kevlar vest "just in case". She smiles reassuringly.

Seriously, it won't hurt it one little bit!

Rob in Canada said... | October 8, 2008 at 9:08 PM

Well it's Thanks Giving this weekend in Canada. I will have to give this corn bread a try. Oh yes, and I've had empty soup cans with Bacon grease on my stove for many years :)

Thanks for this amazing site!

Anonymous said... | October 10, 2008 at 12:21 AM

I started to read through what looked like a good cornbread recipe. But after the fourth 'Go Dawgs' I gave up.

Q: How annoying was that?

A: Very annoying.

If you care that much about some random team that you have to put it in your recipes (and repeat it a gazillion times) then you are in serious need of an actual life.

Southern Plate said... | October 10, 2008 at 6:50 AM

Hey Rob! Happy Thanksgiving! I'm jealous, you getting to start your holidays early! I hope you have a great one up there in the great country of Canada!!!! Wish I could step another toe in that snow y'all have!

Anonymous: Well bless your sour little heart!
Honey, I hope things get better in your life soon.
Remember, happiness and kindness are choices you make every day, they don't just come to you by sitting around turning sweet milk sour with your expressions.

Gail said... | October 10, 2008 at 9:57 PM

My aunt makes "sweet" cornbread which is ok, but it's just not real cornbread to me. Mine always comes out too dry, so I'm going to give this a try tomorrow. Then I'll have to substitute it in her "stuffing" recipe for Thanksgiving too, right? lol Thanks so much for the recipe!

billy said... | October 12, 2008 at 9:18 PM

hi, i just made ur corn bread and its very good, being from the deep south, mississippi coast i love corn bread, i also made ur hoe cakes...they were very very good...my wife said she does the same thing but omits the milk and uses bisquick...i didn't have the heart ...ok sctatch that...i was to afraid to tell her....loll...that urs is much better, her's doesn't hold together well...i love the crust on urs...
i do have a question about ur corn bread...you say use self rising flour AND baking soda...i thought the baking soda is what made it rise, soooo if the corn meal is self rising whats the baking soda do? just wondering tasted excellent....i have a few great recipes myself...i love ur writing and sense of humor...ur full blooded southern...

Yankee1969 said... | October 13, 2008 at 12:12 AM


I added 1/4 cup sugar and sprinkled some over the top as well. Aside from accidentally smoking the Crisco (was eating while pan was pre-heating), it came out just the way we like it. I also realized I forgot the egg the first time. D'Oh! This is perfect, though. :)

Amiyrah said... | October 22, 2008 at 12:21 AM

yankee, thanks for asking "the question" we nawtherners were all thinking lol. also, thanks for coming back to give measurements on how much sugar.

southern plate, you da best! I love reading your recipes....they remind me of my grandmother's cooking that I grew up with. She and my grandfather are from southwest GA (go dawgs! lol).

Shreela said... | October 24, 2008 at 2:52 PM


Baking soda only works as a leavener when mixed with something acid (like buttermilk, yogurt, or lemon juice for example).

Baking powder is a mix of baking soda, tartaric acid (a powder), and something to prevent caking/clumping.

I've seen a lot of old recipes that use soda and some kind of acid, along with baking powder for extra leavening.

PS: My hubby says he doesn't like biscuits made from baking soda, but biscuits made from baking powder are fine. I just keep my mouth shut, ha ha (maybe the baking powder people do something extra to it for all I know, but it's still funny to me).

Claire said... | October 25, 2008 at 5:01 PM

This looks great. The recipe seems very similar to my Granny's except it has twice the buttermilk. Wonder if that makes it more moist.

Murfreesboro said... | November 15, 2008 at 1:19 AM

That looks so good, I think I am going to try this out tomorrow night. Thanks!

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