you can make it in a jiffy, but this ain’t the sweet stuff


Got your skillets out? Go on and get your vegetable oil and self-rising cornmeal, and while you’re at it, set the oven to 400 degrees. Now, pour just enough of that oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and then give it a light sprinkle of the cornmeal. Take a fork to it, so the meal is spread evenly throughout. 

You want to put your skillet in the oven while it’s heating up. This gives you enough time to whip up the batter.

Grab your big bowl and an egg. You won’t believe how easy peasy this is going to be. Crack that egg open. Add it to the bowl with a fourth a cup of oil and two cups of the meal. 
The buttermilk is the part you can’t exactly measure. Start with a cup. And Whoa There, did you shake the buttermilk first? You’ve got to do that.
Keep adding the buttermilk and stirring until the batter is almost dripping off your fork when you lift it.


Your skillet is good and hot now. Get it out when the oil and meal are bubbling, but don’t let it sit out long. Keep it hot. That’s how we like it in the South.

Pour in and spread out your batter (lean in and hear it sizzle, but don’t burn your hair), and then stick it back in the oven. Check on it after about twenty minutes. You’ll want it to look like this when you pull it out. Seriously Golden.
Look at that pretty crumb.
Cut and serve in wedges along side pintos (with hot sauce) and greens (with hot pepper sauce), and you’ll be telling old stories and talking about your genealogy in no time flat.
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Oh, and if you want to make biscuits in the morning, looky here for the right recipe.
amberhaines
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14 Comments

Mel
Reply January 11, 2009

Yummy that is the cornbread i grew up on!!!

Mother Letter
Reply January 11, 2009

I grew up on Jiffy and, frankly, detested cornbread--that sweet cakey goo that had no sizzle or crust on the outside. I held firm to my protest and avoided all forms of the high-carb crumb well into college. I was considered, by most, anti-southern. Being from Louisiana (sort of) I compensated by claiming an intense love for French bread and red beans.

When amber and I started dating, we went to her Mamaw's house in TN. She made *this* cornbread. Mamaw was old, and I was the new boyfriend. I didn't want to be rude. I ate it. I fell in love with it (and Mamaw). And once Amber told me she could make it, I fell in love with her too.

I have eaten skillets upon skillets of this stuff. I still protest Jiffy, but I'll vote for this stuff any day of the week.

It may take you a couple of tries to get this down, but I promise it'll be worth it in the end.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting
Reply January 11, 2009

I'm gonna try this ;) Not sure what I'm gonna pair it with, but it looks yum to me :)

Ann Kroeker
Reply January 11, 2009

Dadgummit. I gave away my iron skillet when we invested in our fancy-schmancy smooth-top electric stove that is iron-skillet-aversive (scratchety).

And I never have buttermilk on hand.

Sigh.

I have to revert to the same plain-Jane cornbread recipe as before.

(I do make it from scratch, however--none of that Jiffy-stuff for me, no sirree)

Enjoy your easy-peasy skillet-y-cornmealy eats. And think of poor ol' Ann in Indiana, stuck working with glass pyrex pans and regular milk.

I do have nicely ground cornmeal from a local heartland farm store kind of place that sells local honey and whatnot. It ain't skillet-sizzled cornbread, but I think it counts as a slight upgrade, don't you?

Amber
Reply January 11, 2009

Lisa, I've got the perfect thing. Ready?

Butter! Pair it with butter, and you're good. Really, I think cornbread goes with just about any soup. It has perfect sopping capabilities.

Poor Ann, indeed! But bless your heart, anything you buy locally counts for a whole lot. I bet it tastes great. Also, if I don't have buttermilk on hand, I'll add a bit of lemon juice to some plain ol milk a few minutes before I start cooking. That usually does the trick.

I have gained a bit of weight since Christmas, but boy oh boy I think I must make some choc.chip pumpkin bread. I have a feeling it's going to make my happy list on Thursday.

los cazadores
Reply January 11, 2009

Amber you are fun. I had all these grandiose plans to cook and bake today and I did nothing but replant pots. Maybe I could still muster the gumption to break out a skillet.

Cindy

Joleine
Reply January 11, 2009

Mmmm.. that does look good.. I think I need to get hubby to buy me a cast iron skillet as I don't think that would be the same in my normal (oven safe) skillet... :)

Anonymous
Reply January 11, 2009

I think Paula Deen would love you. I know I do. Miss you.
ERIN

Amber
Reply January 11, 2009

Erin, I wish you were here to have some pumpkin bread with me. If you leave now, you'll be here by 1:15 AM. Shewt.

Lauramamadoula
Reply January 11, 2009

oh I am so making that tomorrow! I haven't had good cornbread in a long time! and I adore my cast iron skillet... any chance you've ever used anything besides buttermilk? my kids both have a serious allergy.

Blue Castle
Reply January 11, 2009

That looks amazingly delicious. I keep trying to get my husband to find a job down south so I could learn how to cook all that good food. He still refuses, so I'll have to console myself with this recipe.
Is there a certain brand of cornmeal you would recommend for us Northerners who don't know any better?

Amber
Reply January 11, 2009

Lauramamadoula, are you a doula? That is soooo cool to me. Yes. You can use plain milk, and if you're feeling crazy, let it sit with some lemon juice in it. That'll tang it up a bit for you - make it buttermilky. Seriously.

Blue Castle, even in the South I think most people live off hamburger helper and frozen pizzas - not that there's anything wrong with that - except for death. Anyway, I use the self-rising cornmeal that isn't generic or whatever is in the cutest package, so maybe I'm not the one to ask about that, or it just doesn't matter. My guess is that the cornmeal that was grown nearest to your home is the best to buy.

Lee Ann
Reply January 12, 2009

Amber,
Thanks for leaving us a comment! Yes, Reed and I both know Brooke R. She's a doll, isn't she? (hmm...I never really use the word "doll", but it seemed right just now.) That's so exciting your starting the adoption process. Get ready for the ride! We leave next week and are completely stunned it's happening. I look forward to hearing more and I love your blog style. Very fun to read.

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