Wednesday, July 02, 2008

On cornbread

A few years ago, I met weekly with some women of my church to pray. Few things have marked me as profoundly as those evenings spent beseeching the throne of grace with those godly women.

One night before we began our prayer meeting in earnest, I was telling my friends about the supper I had taken to another friend who had suffered a miscarriage. Well, my praying friends always want to know about the food, so I described my menu, concluding with the confession that I did not send cornbread because I realized too late that I was out of eggs.

My praying friends, who also happen to be my culinary friends, looked at me like I'd sprouted wings.

"Eggs? In cornbread?" they stammered, eyes wide with incredulity. "Why in the world would you put eggs in cornbread?" they asked as they tried (unsuccessfully) to hide their shock.

Eyes averted, head down, I mumbled, "Because that's what...ummm...well...that's what the box said."

Yes, I admit this to you, as I admitted to my dear friends years ago, I am a girl born and bred in the deep South and yes, I make my cornbread from the Jiffy mix. Still. I made some last night as a matter of fact.

My mom, on the other hand, makes THE BEST cornbread EVER. Seriously. EVER. Hers is unlike any I've had, except my grandmother's, who incidentally taught her daughter-in-law, my mom. It is a crispy, oven fried concoction that is to DIE for (not really, not like Jesus, but you get my meaning).

I tried once to make cornbread like my mom. Yeah, I know. I should've known better, especially when it requires something like stone ground, fine corn meal, Adam's brand if you can find it.

I can't.

But that is probably the least of my worries when it comes to making my mom's cornbread that is to DIE for (not like Jesus, but you get my meaning).

Yet one more reason to appreciate my mom, who is worthy of appreciation and not just for her cornbread.


  1. LOL! Thanks for the chuckle! I make almost ALL my baked goods( when I do and that is not often) from a box as well! YOu are not alone...makes you feel like a cheap home maker when talking to others who don't, though-huh? Well, sister. You are not alone! I would eat a piece of your corn bread eggs or no, and I am not supposed to eat eggs being a vegan! LOL!

  2. My grandmother went to her grave with the cornbread secret, but maybe I can get my MIL to teach me.

    Right now, the "B. Smith" Betty Crocker bag is my "recipe".

  3. I've had cornbread once in my life at a friends house. It's not a mainstay recipe up in these parts. She served it with chili and it was sooo good.

  4. Too funny! I was just telling my (southern) mama last week, that I was in the mood for some cornbread! Would love to have some even now, whether homemade from my mama's oven or Jiffy-style.

  5. I put eggs in mine, too :)


  6. Author's retraction:

    One of my praying friends called me today to tell me that she does in fact put eggs in her cornbread and has no recollection of the conversation as I told it.

    We decided it must have been my other culinary friend who expressed shock and dismay over the inclusion of eggs.

    But today my friend who called still found it "interesting" that I used the jiffy mix.

    Just keepin' it real.


  7. I have an AWESOME cornbread recipe that I make. From scratch. In a cast iron skillet. And it does indeed have eggs.

    Your Southern friend.

  8. Girl, I do so remember Grandmama's cornbread and do try to make it on occasion. Needless, to say it is not as good as hers or as your mothers.

    MMMM, some good ole cornbread and fresh vegatables sure do sound good right now.

  9. I am a big fan of the boxed cornbread mix as well. Last fall, Camden's teacher asked me to make cornbread muffins for the class for "Colonial Day." I thought "sure" -- 3 boxes or so. THEN, after I said yes, she told me that the kids would be hand-grinding corn in class and she'd send the corn meal home with Camden. Yikes. It all turned out fine, but I was seriously stressing for a while.