No one is really sure when cornbread was first made, however, it is certain that the Native American Indians like the Central and South American Indians had been cooking with corn in every conceivable way since as early as 3500 BC. It is postulated that cornbread as we know it came about when the Northern American Indians introduced corn meal to the Pilgrims and the Pilgrims adapted their bread recopies with it for lack of wheat. There are many forms and flavors of corn bread that vary from North to South and East to West, but for sure, it has been a favorite for a long time. Cornbread is very easy to make and almost impossible to mess up and it goes well with almost everything, especially Brunswick stew.
Here is a cornbread recipe from Mark Lipira’s Cookbook: Home Grown Cooking for Whole Life Healing, which is simple and can be easily modified to suit your tastes. Even better it highlights how to create a minimal mess in the kitchen.
Southern Corn Bread
1 cup Plain Yellow Corn Meal
1 cup All Purpose Flour
2 tbs. White Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tbs. Baking Powder
2 tbs. Vegetable Oil
11/4 cup Milk or Buttermilk
Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a wire whisk until uniform. Add eggs to the bowl kind of on the side of the dry mix, beat the eggs on the side of the dry mix. Add the cold milk on top of the eggs and mix them then incorporate the wet into the dry all in the same bowl until mixed well with no lumps. Put mixture into a 9 x 9 greased pan and place in a 400 degree preheated oven on the center rack until center of cornbread cracks and rises and the sides pull away from pan slightly and feel springy to the touch, about 25 minutes.
This is a very basic, not to sweet, corn bread that goes well with chili, beans and greens. If you like a sweeter bread add more sugar, if you like it less sweet add less sugar, if you like it really sweet add a mixture of honey and melted butter to the top just before it is finished baking. You might also try adding a half a can of drained whole kernel corn to the batter, and/or some diced Jalapeno peppers. Play with it and you will find the way you like it, but please quit buying it in a box. The beauty of this recipe is you have only dirtied one bowl, one whisk and one pan. Try this cornbread recipe with Mark’s Brunswick stew recipe.