I learned to make cornbread from my grandmother. When I first turned 18 and moved out on my own, I’d come across recipes for cornbread. I couldn’t understand why these people added all this unnecessary stuff. It just makes what’s supposed to be inexpensive, expensive. Why not just make it simple? I also can’t understand why people want sweet cornbread. That’s alright though. Even with mine you could simply add sugar and get sweet cornbread.

Every time I make cornbread, I think of when I was a kid. I used to stay a lot with my grandmother. My cousin usually stayed with me down there. One day when we were getting to the age of being able to stay alone, my grandparents left us there. Mandy and I decided we were cold and so we went to put wood in the fire. It got hot quick. We didn’t realize we should only put one or two pieces in. We stuffed that heater full. We then go and open some doors because we’re roasting out of that place.

About 15 or 20 minutes go by and my grandparents come in the house. I’ll never forget it…Papaw says “Good Lord Jean Annie. Do you have it hot enough in here?” Then suddenly I hear mamaw “Amanda. Heather Jean Anne……”. For the love of God, I knew we were done. Something was wrong. I knew I was facing a butt busting like I never had before. We run over there and she just looks at us for a minute. It was as if she was at a lsos for words. I’ll tell ya’ll this right now….she’s never been at a loss before. We stand there just looking at her pretty darn nervous. After a second she looks at our papaw and says “they done melted the blinds off the wall.” We look at each other and then we look at her and then we scramble. She never spanked us. She never yelled at us…but I swear to you, we never lived it down. However, we never forgot either how to put wood in the fire.

Self rising cornmeal

REAL mayo


That’s all it takes. For every cup of cornmeal I use, I’d say I use about two tablespoons of mayo. I mean the big spoon you get with your forks and spoons. Once you mix that up, then you add water. You want it to be a little thinner than pudding. A lot of this depends on what size cast iron pan you have. Pour oil into your cast iron. It should be enough to cover the bottom of your pan. Throw it in the oven on 450 degrees. Once it’s bubbly hot, pour in your meal and cook until the top is browned. DO NOT CUT it until it’s cooled. If you do expect a bunch of crumbs.


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