Every year at Thanksgiving, I make my great grandmother Sallie’s cornbread recipe. She and my great grandfather were “dirt farmers” in Oklahoma during the depression. This bread, plus some beans, was their dinner many nights. Their life on the farm was not easy, but it was a life that provided the simple necessities.
Every year at Thanksgiving as I mix the ingredients for this cornbread, and then make the stuffing for the turkey, I have the delight of remembering my great-grandmother. It always leads to a sense of gratitude for her, all my ancestors and my family.
I don’t want you to just sit down at the table.
I don’t want you to just eat and be content.
I want you to walk out into the fields
Where the water is shining and the rice has risen.
I want you to stand there far from this white tablecloth.
I want you to fill your hands with mud, like a blessing.
- Mix together with a big spoon
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Make a large “hole” in the middle of the dry mixture with the spoon
- Beat one egg with a fork, add 1 tablespoon of oil into well in the middle of the dry mixture and mix with a fork
- Add 1 cup of buttermilk
- Let rise while heating the oven to 450 degrees (about 10 minutes)
- Gently whip down with a fork
- Grease a one layer cake pan, cast iron skillet or 8” square pan with oil
- Bake 20-25 minutes (until a toothpick or knife comes out clean)
So that’s my great grandmother’s recipe (and yes, the photo at the top of this post is of her and my great grandfather). But, this recipe doesn’t make enough for Thanksgiving – so I’ve figured out the math for you to make enough for your family, If you don’t have two cast iron skillets, no worries. Use muffin tins, cake loafs, whatever you have.
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees
- Melt 7 tablespoons of butter in the microwave (all but one end of a stick of butter)
- Combine the dry ingredients
- One bag of cornmeal (2lb)
- 3 1/2 cups of flour
- 7 tsp of baking soda
- 3 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 2 1/2 tsp of salt
- Beat 7 eggs and put them into a “well” you make in the center of the dry ingredients
- Add the melted butter
- Put a tablespoon of oil (or two) into two cast iron skillets and put them in the oven for 4-5 minutes (let the cornbread batter rest during this time)
- Pour any excess oil from the pans into the batter and mix in then pour the batter into the hot cast iron skillets.
- Bake ~25 minutes.