Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cornbread to Celebrate My Mother's Birthday

Today is my mother's birthday.  I won't tell you how old she would be.  A true southern lady, she thought it "tacky" for someone to even inquire as to one's age.

In later years she once said that she wanted to "live to be ninety-nine".  Why not one hundred?
She didn't want Willard Scott to announce her age on the Today Show!!

Although she didn't live to be ninety-nine, she lived a very long and very full life.  
One of seventeen children, she enjoyed a closeness with her siblings that spilled over into the lives of her children and their children.  Although the older generation are now all gone, the cousins still keep in touch and see one another when possible.

Mother loved her Southern Baptist religion, her family and friends.

Mother also loved food.  She could eat six ears of corn, slathered in butter,  salted and peppered,  in one sitting.  She liked her coffee strong, well creamed and heavily sugared.  She "doctored" fresh fruit by adding lots of sugar and letting it sit for awhile to "make juice".  Although it isn't o.k. to discuss her age, she was proud to tell one and all her weight.  

"I'm 5'2 and weigh 99 pounds."  
The weight is true but I don't think she was ever quite 5'!!

Mother loved cornbread.
It had to be made in a cast iron skillet.
That was the iron clad (no pun intended) rule.
She sometimes added sugar (not true southern).

She always slathered her's in butter.
Quite often, she enjoyed leftovers crumbled into a glass of buttermilk for a bedtime treat.

Corn Bread

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
8 Tbsp butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 425 and place a 9 or 10 inch skillet inside to heat while oven is heating.  The larger skillet will produce a thinner and crispier cornbread.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Whisk in the milk, buttermilk and eggs along with all but a tablespoon of the melted butter.
3.  Remove the hot skillet from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375.  Use the remaining tablespoon of butter to coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet.  Immediately pour the batter into the skillet and place into the oven.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cornbread is set in the middle and firm.



  1. What a lovely remembrance of your mother, Bonnie. Sixteen siblings, I can't even imagine a family that big. How wonderful to have so many cousins.
    Happy Birthday Bonnie's Mom!

  2. How fun to read this. I was just reading another blogger friend's post about cornbread yesterday! I told her about our Southern traditions, being much the same. We never add sugar to our cornbread, and sometimes my Dad would crumble his up into his milk for a morning treat.
    My Southern Nana is 97 years young, and is a teeny tiny little lady. She doesn't mind anyone knowing her age. Her big brother turned 100 a few months ago and we had a big party. Their little sister is 96!!!
    Have a wonderful day Cathy. I enjoyed reading this post!

  3. She was obviously a fine and dear Southern Lady. You have beautiful memories of your mom. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Just beautiful! Your mother sounds like a lovely lady with very good metabolism:@)

  5. seventeen children!!!!... i've never made (or I think eaten) cornbread, not particularly very British but it looks simple and very tasty so I must give it a go... wonderful tales of your mother x

  6. Such nice memories of your mom. My grandmother lived to be 102. When she was about to turn 100, I asked her what she'd like to do on her birthday. She said that she wanted to be driven through town like the Queen Mother and wave at everyone. I was ready to drive her all around her little town, but when it came down to it, she was embarrased and wouldn't do it!

  7. I enjoyed reading about your and on FB! What a nice way to remember her and celebrate her life! The cornbread looks delicious. And I'm missing my cast iron skillet.

  8. I have really enjoyed hearing a bit about your mom!!!

  9. look amazing I love cornbread, nice post!!

  10. The corn bread looks amazing and it sounds like you have many wonderful memories of your mother! Have a wonderful week!

  11. i love what your mother loved, but i am NOT 99 pounds. that is my favorite cornbread too. and in the south, if we add sugar it is called sweet bread which is nothing but cornbread with a very small amount of sugar in it.

  12. Happy Birthday to your Mum, wonderful cornbread too. I think its the buttermilk that makes it!

  13. Mother always made her cornbread in an iron skillet as well. She would throw in a spoon of bacon grease place the skillet in the oven until it was nice and hot then pour in her batter. Mother never added sugar to her cornbread. Cornbread was a staple in our home. I still love it. Your Mother was absolutely correct, a southern lady never reveals her age. Hugs, Bonnie

  14. What lovely memories of your mom! Even though I'm from the south, I like a little sugar in my cornbread too. :)

  15. A touching remembrance of your mother. I wonder how many of us will be remembered by the food we ate?

  16. I hope your mom had a great day!

  17. Love your memories, Bonnie. And smiled when I read her reason for not wanting to live to be 100! Too funny.
    She sounds like a true southern lady. And this cornbread looks wonderful.

    Re the ice cream maker: I use the Cuisinart ice cream maker. It was not too expensive and I always keep the bowl in the freezer ready to go.

  18. Your mother sounds like she was quite a character, Bonnie! What a lovely thought to make her cornbread recipe in honor of her birth date. I love cornbread but need a little sugar in mine. I guess you can tell I'm from the North :)

  19. She was truly a Southern Lady even if she did put sugar in her cornbread. :-) What a nice tribute to her, Bonnie. My grandmother loved cornbread or about any bread crumbled up into her buttermilk at night also.

  20. Great minds think post today was about my mom and her cooking too!!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  21. All I can say is God was pretty stingy with that kind of metabolism :-) What a lovely way to remember your mother. She'd be pleased I'm sure. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  22. This something wanted to make; thank you for sharing this recipe and your mom's story.
    We do not have this tasty bread around here much, it will be fun to serve it.


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