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...
(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!"
DIXIE CORN BREAD
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
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.