Growing up, we often had pinto beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes for supper. For one thing it was cheap; for another it was simple. Put some dry beans in a pot with water, seasonings, onion, pepper, and a chunk of ham or bacon, bring it to a boil, and let that bad boy simmer the rest of the day. Or just dump all of the above in a crock pot and let it cook all day that way. About 45 minutes before supper is served, whip up some cornbread, bake it for about a half hour, and fry up some potatoes and onions in the mean time. Simple, filling, and economical.
We had a potluck today at church, and I forgot about it until the last minute. That left me with trying to make something with what we already had at the house. After a search, I decided beans and cornbread was the menu of the night. I may have gotten the beans a little spicy, but the cornbread was a hit, which meant that it warrented its own blog post.
Now, here’s a fun little story about this cornbread. One afternoon (probably a Saturday), my daddy was outside building piers for the house addition he and my stepmom had in the plans. He called me outside and said to bring a pencil and paper. As he was carefully constructing a pier out of concrete and rocks, he gave me this cornbread recipe off the top of his head and had me to make up a batch. It wasn’t that he had memorized this recipe from his mama’s recipe box. With each ingredient, he used words such as “about.” I’ve just always been impressed by his and many other people’s ability to guesstimate a recipe and to not really use measuring cups, just eye-ball it. And now that I’ve related this little story, I’ll let you in on my daddy’s cornbread recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup oil
- buttermilk (You can use regular milk if that’s all you have, or you can make your own sour milk using vinegar: 1 tbsp. vinegar to 1 cup milk.)
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet or an 8×11-inch baking dish. (It tastes better in an iron skillet.)
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together well.
- Add eggs, oil, and buttermilk. (The buttermilk is the tricky part. Start with one cup. You want the batter to be fairly thin, about like cake or brownie batter, not soupy but not lumpy. Batter, not dough. It may take closer to one and a half cups of buttermilk.)
- Cook until golden brown (20-30 minutes).
- Serve warm with butter!