Regional traditional foods in the south overlap and cross so many cultural boundaries sometimes we get caught up in terminologies. Soul food, Country food, White Trash, Appalachian, Cajun, Creole, Low Country, etc. One thing for sure that I think everyone agrees on is the term, Home Cooking!
Traditional home cooking in the south not only crosses the southern boundaries but throughout the United States and the world for that matter. A traditional Minnesota Hot Dish Casserole could be the very same recipe your favorite Aunt from North Georgia makes. I won’t get into the fine detail of regional cooking but I would like to mention one thing, Cornbread!
Cornbread is one of those great home cooked dishes that everyone loves and has a favorite recipe. Folks take their cornbread seriously and even in the south, can spark heated debates on what truly is southern cornbread. Sugar, no sugar, white cornmeal, yellow cornmeal, stone-ground cornmeal, self rising cornmeal, flour, no flour, milk, water, bacon grease, vegetable oil, lard… the list goes on and on. Now I’m not here to tell you what southern cornbread is or isn’t, only to describe to you the cornbread I grew up eating raised in North Florida.
My grandmother was my inspiration in the kitchen. She would make cornbread with whatever she had available. I would watch her make it in different ways all the time, but one thing for sure, it always came out the same! I had to learn how she did this and it only took me 30 years.
I’ve made cornbread lots of different ways over the years and recently I’ve refined my recipe and it has put me on a three-legged stool in my grandmother’s kitchen once again.
I hope you give this a try and enjoy a little slice of home cooking inspired by my grandmother.
Lois Moody’s Cornbread Recipe
- 1/2 cup corn oil
- 1 cup white self-rising cornmeal
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven too 400. Pour 1/4 cup of oil into a cast iron skillet and place in oven to heat. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl with the other 1/4 cup of oil. Stir until well blended.
Remove skillet from oven and pour mixture into hot skillet and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes until nice and golden browned on top. Flip bread onto platter and serve.
Tip: To make your own self rising cornmeal, add one tablespoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to one cup minus one tablespoon of cornmeal.
This is southern cornbread, regional, home style, Americana, whatever you want to call it. Carrying on the tradition, I just call it Roots!
Photo by Glenn Moody – All Rights Reserved
“This pan belonged to my great grandmother and has been missing the handle since before my mom was born.”
Guest Author Bio
Glenn was born and raised in rural Gainesville Fl. “Food has always defined my Southernness”. Growing up in my Grandmother’s kitchens and carrying on the traditions are a priority.
Glenn joined the Army at 19 and spent 7 years traveling and experiencing the food of different world cultures. He is currently employed at the Veterans Hospital in Gainesville Fl.
Glenn also plays Cigarbox Guitar in a duo called Cracker the Box.
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