We’ve had visitors, lots of out-of-town visitors! Oh what fun! We LOVE showing off Nashville. We tend to eat healthier on our own but when out-of-towners visit, we have to introduce them to all the Southern gastronomical treats such as Arnold’s, Monell’s, and The Loveless Cafe. And sometimes we really need to show off our neighborhood’s own award-winning charm with hot chicken from Prince’s or Catfish Sandwiches from Eastside Fish (go East side!). Eastside Fish claims their sandwiches are the “crunkest” and I’m no catfish sandwich aficionado but I’m going to say that they really are pretty crunkin.
Speaking of Southern gastronomical treats, I have some cornbread in the oven right now. I’ve been eating cornbread for as long as I have had teeth. My Grandmother, known to us as Nana, made the BEST cornbread in the whole wide world. When I was little, my Mom tried and tried to bake it and it just never tasted like Nana’s. After Nana passed away some years back, my Mom brought home Nana’s cornbread pan (and I think there was some divine intervention involved, as well) and suddenly, my Mom now makes the best cornbread in the whole wide world! My sister and I continually watch and assist her whenever we are visiting but she doesn’t follow a recipe or use measuring cups so it is a little hard to try to replicate her exact method.
Every once in awhile, I would try a new cornbread recipe from a favorite Southern cookbook but none of them were ever too memorable until I stumbled across one in the cookbook I mentioned a post or two back, The Gift of Southern Cooking, by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. Their recipe for “Our Favorite Sour Milk Cornbread” is good and reminiscent of Nana’s recipe. I modified it a little, of course. It goes like this…
1 1/2 cups fine-ground white cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 450 F. Mix the cornmeal, salt, baking powder and soda together. Mix eggs with buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk and egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir together.
Place the butter in an large iron skillet. Place in oven to melt butter. Slightly brown the butter and then pull the skillet out of the oven and the pour the melted butter into the batter and stir. Pour mixture into the iron skillet and bake for 20-30 minutes when golden on top and the sides begin to pull away from the side of the skillet.
Oh, while we are on the subject, I need to tell you that real Southern cornbread is NOT sweet. There. I said it. There are many uses for cornbread. We eat it for lunch or dinner with soup, beans, sauteed cabbage and sausages, or anything really. We also eat it leftover and toasted in the oven with cheese, honey, or jam on it for breakfast. One traditional Southern way to eat leftover cornbread and a way I remember enjoying it at Nana’s house is crumbled in a bowl with milk poured on top!
I’ve been experimenting with some new pie recipes! I made my friend, Meg’s Grandmother’s buttermilk pie. It was delicious. I’ll be working on a buttermilk recipe of my own now. Stay tuned! This I know- buttermilk makes a good pie. And, I must share our friend Dolan’s beautiful pie-eating tradition- Cut off the tip of your pie piece and save it for your last bite upon which you can make a wish! I wished for something big on this buttermilk slice!
I baked more pies for the Red Barn Round-Up this past week, too.
And I close this post with a little youtube from our last Red Barn Round-Up that our friend Korby made…