Growing up in North Carolina back in fifties was a lesson in eating local foods, whether it was the every present green beans, corn on the cob, tomatoes fresh from the vine, or if you were lucky hot cornbread.
Anyone that is reading this post from a spot that is north of southern Virginia has little or no hope of actually enjoying something as wonderful tasting as the cornbread in the picture that accompanies this post.
It didn't matter where we lived when I was growing up, Yadkin County, Lewisville, or Mount Airy, there was always cornbread.
Cornbread like this is an art. It requires a correctly seasoned cast iron pan that was likely passed down from your mother. It requires the right cornmeal, which often is hard to find, and most of all if requires a great cook like my wife, Glenda.
There is great pride in getting the cornbread to turn out of the pan without sticking or destroying the best part which is the perfectly browned crust. I actually help a lot when washing dishes, but I won't get near the cornbread pans since I don't want to be accused of getting even a touch of soap inside their hallowed edges. You'll notice I said pans, and often a cook will have two to three pans so they can make exactly the size of cornbread pone that is required to feed everyone.
Now there are folks who don't like butter, and I know it is something we aren't supposed to eat much of these days. I'll cook my eggs in Pam, but hot cornbread deserves butter just as much as an ear of corn on the cob. This cornbread which my mother made regularly and others I know love to eat in a glass of buttermilk is nothing like the sweet stuff that is often passed off as cornbread in restaurants. New Englanders seem to enjoy the sweet stuff, but cornbread is no wimpy dessert, done right it's part of the main course of the meal. I've seen our kids come close to making their whole meal on cornbread.
This treasured southern cornbread is the perfect companion to pot of gently seasoned green beans in the summer or well cooked pinto beans in the winter. Adding a nice side of fresh tomatoes to those fresh green beans along with some new potatoes certainly makes a wonderful summertime feast which even I, the ex-cattleman, will admit needs no meat.
Good cornbread warms your soul as well as taking care of your hunger. May you live long enough for a kindly southern lady to share this food of the gods with you.
As to the recipe, I have put it in another post. However, it is one of those recipes where you better know what you're doing before you start. If my memory is right, I think you "cook until done," which is not something most novice cooks like to see.