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.