#1 "If God had meant for cornbread to have sugar,he'd have called it cake." M Twain"
10-23-2008, 04:55 PM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Which is the best cornbread, north or south?
Depends on whether you like your cornbread with sugar or without.
"If God had meant for cornbread to have sugar in it, he'd have called it cake." – Mark Twain
You would think that a discussion about cornbread would be a genteel, velvet-toned chat. But in my childhood, the subject was like a lit fuse on a keg of dynamite.
According to cookbook author Crescent Dragonwagon ("The Cornbread Gospels" — Workman, $14.95) cornbread has the ability to call forth joy and memory. She says that, in fact, is cornbread's mojo.
Well, my dad didn't know mojo from Jell-O, but he knew what he thought cornbread should be. And it was something very different from what my mother made. His disapproval was a recurring topic in his tableside tirades.
Dad said Mom's cornbread was cake, in a tone that made cake sound like rat poison. Mom said that Dad's cornbread was too hard and as tasteless as a doorstop.
It was an argument that spanned the length of their 60-year marriage.
Turns out that their unresolved disagreement was a North vs. South issue; my father's mother had mid-1800s roots in the South, my mother's ancestors lived in the North.
"Cornbread is loved everywhere, but in the south it's lingua franca," says Dragonwagon, a yarn-spinning cook and writer who has spent most of her adult life living in Arkansas, where for 18 years she ran a country inn and restaurant, Dairy Hollow House, with her late husband. She has served her cornbread to a president (Bill Clinton), a titled princess (Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia) and a world-renowned feminist (Betty Friedan).
"Your dad's cornbread sounds like Wenonah Fay's Mama's Plain Bread that is in the book," she says. "It's stripped down cornbread that was a constant for blacks during slavery times. It has grittiness, a coarse
quality that is earthy and unrefined, that is somehow primal."
Which style of cornbread is your favorite?
Or what kind of corn
or yellow ?
Or how it is cooked
Primal, indeed. I can still picture Dad's hands as he pushed and patted the simple mixture of cornmeal, water, salt and bacon drippings into a well-worn metal pie pan. Baked, it was brittle and so hard you could see the indentations made by his fingers. He served it hot, broken into higgledy-piggledy pieces and topped with butter.
Mom's cakey cornbread was sweetened with sugar. Dragonwagon says that using sugar is like going over to the dark side for many southerners. Of course there are exceptions.
"African-American Southern cornbreads are often quite sweet, and almost all Rhode Island jonnycakes are not sweetened …" she writes in her book.
But what about eggs and buttermilk? I frequently see those ingredients in southern cornbread recipes.
She says that southern cornbreads often incorporated those ingredients as economic times improved in the south after the Great Depression. She said that in better times, cornbread became a "chosen food, not just the only option."
"All the versions in the book are good, they are just different," she says. "But most people have an allegiance to the one they grew up with."
Guess that leaves me pretty much open. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/c...ar-dragonwagon
10-23-2008, 04:58 PM
I could probably go the rest of my life without eating another piece of cornbread but when I do make it, I make the yellow corn, sweet kind.
10-23-2008, 07:00 PM
I LOVE cornbread. No sugar in cornbread or on my grits.At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that news is not something that happens to other people. ~ Robert Heinlein
You Say The Battle Is Over
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
10-23-2008, 07:12 PM
I hated cornbread as a kid. I only ate it when we visited Aunt Daisy and we had to be polite. It was dry and tasteless. I prefer the Yankee kind.:oLoyalty Binds Me- Motto of Richard III
10-23-2008, 08:28 PM
I make a homemade cornbread from my Betty Crocker cookbook. If memory serves, it does call for a bit of sugar and it is baked in the oven. It's fantastic. I make it with a Three-bean Chili. Perfect meal!
10-23-2008, 10:26 PM
- Join Date
- May 2008
- In my own private Alamo on The Mountain in Georgia
Cornbread is the food of the Gods.
NO SUGAR. Period.
White or yellow corn? No preference.
Sweet milk and water mixed.
One egg for one large loaf.
Don't use cornbread mix.Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
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