Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Nana Joy's Cornbread

It ranks as one of life's simple but great pleasures. Nana Joy's cornbread. Then again, anything Nana Joy cooks can be called one of life's greatest pleasures.

It was this time last year when I thought I would "help out" and have the cornbread ready for when Nana Joy and Dad made their annual pilgrimage to our house for Thanksgiving. Nana Joy makes the famed oyster stuffing that Dad and I crave. To help do my part I made up some cornbread ahead of time for the stuffing. Let's just be blunt. It was bad. Very bad. I actually tried 3 different recipes and what I was left with was 3 different but consistently bad cornbreads.

Nana Joy to the rescue.

With her smile that is always just a breath away, Nana Joy swooped into the kitchen, grabbed my cast iron skillet and went to work. This time - I hawked her every move. "Ford, she told me, this recipe is very simple but very good". She didn't have to convince me of that as I've tasted her cornbread before. I wanted to learn. I wanted to taste that crunchy bottom.

Nana's cornbread was perfect.

I was thinking about that painful experience of three failed cornbreads as I whipped up Nana's cornbread to go with our chili the other night. What a pleasure. What a relief it is to make something you know is going to be good. Something you would serve to others and have confidence all would be well. I now have my go-to cornbread recipe permanently sealed in my recipe book. I don't even look for cornbread recipes any longer. Why would I, when I have the absolute best already.

Compliments of our Nana Joy...

Nana Joy’s Cornbread


2 cups self-rising corn meal

2 eggs

2 Tbs bacon grease

Buttermilk (approximately 1/3 – 1/2 cup)


Add 2 Tbs bacon grease to a 10” cast iron skillet

Place skillet in oven.

Preheat oven to 400F.

In medium size bowl, lightly whisk 2 eggs.

Add eggs to corn meal.

Stir gently to combine. Don't over stir.

Add buttermilk until just the right thickness forms while gently stiring, wet not soupy but not dry.

Spoon batter into the hot skillet.

Bake at 400F about 20 to 25 minutes


Catherine said...

Mmmm...that sounds and looks delicious! Going to try this someday!

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