Part 5 – Cornbread

Niedbalski Meals

Red meats are complete proteins containing all of the essential amino acids needed by the body to build and maintain muscle and other tissues. Most vegetables don’t include all of the necessary amino acids (although soybeans contain most) and are referred to as incomplete proteins. The Confederate army marched and fought on a staple diet of cornbread and beans, combining incomplete proteins to provide proper nutrition.

Southern Cornbread

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk (or sour milk)
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted grease (your choice)

Preheat oven at 425 degrees. Mix cornmeal, salt, soda, baking powder, and sugar. Add buttermilk and egg. Blend well. Heat grease (until it almost smokes) in an 8 or 9-inch iron skillet, then pour most of the grease into the batter and stir, mixing well. Pour batter into the very hot skillet — Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Molasses Cornbread or Muffins

  • 1-1/2 cups bran
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup molasses

Combine dry ingredients. Add liquid and blend well. Pour into a greased 9x9x2-inch baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or pour into 18 greased muffin tins and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Grandma Sarah’s Cornbread

  • 1-1/2 cups sour milk or buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Combine the first five ingredients. Stir in cornmeal and flour. Add melted butter. Pour batter into greased 8-inch square pan — Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

A Lady’s Touch Cornbread

  • 1 cup cornmeal‌‌‌‌
  • 1 cup whole wheat, unbleached or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
  • egg, beaten (optional) 
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1-1/4 cup milk

Combine the dry ingredients. Stir in the liquids and spoon into a greased 8-inch square pyrex dish — Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. The recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch pyrex dish.

Country Sunshine Cornmeal Loaves

  • 4 cups yellow cornmeal 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda 
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted 
  • 4 cups buttermilk or sour milk

Mix dry ingredients. Stir in butter and buttermilk. Blend well. Pour batter into two greased 9×5- inch loaf pans. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
(Note: no eggs required for this recipe)

Johnny Cake or Journey Cake

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 cup water 1/2 cup milk

Stir cornmeal and salt into boiling water. Cook until thick. Remove from heat and add milk. Mix well. Drop from large spoon on greased hot griddle or skillet. Turn to brown both sides.

Johnny Cakes

  • 1 cup cornmeal 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water 
  • 1/2 cup milk

In a bowl combine the cornmeal, salt, and sugar. Stir in water, beating out lumps. Slowly add milk. Drop by tablespoons full into greased skillet. Cook slowly for 5 minutes. Turn over and cook 5 minutes more. Makes 10 cakes.

Dixie Corn Dodgers

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp, vegetable oil, melted butter, or bacon drippings 
  • 2/3 cup milk (approximately)

Combine the dry ingredients. Stir in liquids. Form eight “bullet-shaped” dodgers drop in a greased and heated heavy skillet. Brown on one side, turn to brown bottom

Campfire Cornbread

  • 1 cup cornmeal‌‌
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients. Stir in liquids. Spoon into a well-greased, heated 10 or 12-inch skillet. Cover tightly. Cover over a low flame for 20 to 30 minutes, or until firm in the center when pan baking over hot coals places the pan on a low grill, on a three rock stand in the coals or directly on coals. Place coals on top of the lid (like a dutch oven) to distribute heat more evenly. Baked foods are more likely to burn on the bottom than the top. To prevent burning, check the temperature of your coals before placing a pan on them. Hold your hand about six inches above the coals; it should be hot, but you should be able to keep your hand in place for eight seconds.

No-Flour Camp Cornbread

  • 1-1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. sugar, molasses, sorghum, or honey
  • 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk 
  • (To sour milk, put 2 tbsp. Lemon juice or vinegar in a pint measuring cup. Add milk to make 2 cups. Stir and let sit a few minutes until clabbered.) 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine, melted (or other fat)

Mix dry ingredients. Stir in liquids. Spoon into a well-greased hot 10 or 12-inch iron skillet. Cover and cook over a low flame for about 30 minutes or until firm in the center (or bake in the oven at 425 degrees for approximately 30 minutes)

Hush Puppies

  • 1 cups yellow cornmeal 
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, well beaten

lard or cooking oil for deep frying, heated to 375 degrees

Mix dry ingredients together and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl mix buttermilk and beaten egg. Pour in the well all at one time and mix until well blended. Using a heaping tablespoon for each, form into small cakes. Deep fry only as many as will float uncrowded one layer deep. Turn several times as they rise to the surface during cooking (do not pierce). Fry 3 to 4 minutes or until well browned. Drain a few seconds before transferring to paper towels. Serve hot.

(Note: At fish frys, the dogs would start howling from the aroma of the cooking fish and hush puppies were thrown to shut them up.)

Cornmeal Pancakes

  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder 
  • 1-1/4 cups sifted flour 
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 eggs, well beaten 
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp. melted shortening

Sift together sugar, salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir in cornmeal. Combine eggs and milk and add to flour mixture. Add shortening and mix until smooth. Drop by tablespoons full on a greased hot griddle. Cook until edges are brown and bubbles are in the middle. Turn and cook on other side. Serve with butter and sorghum, molasses or other syrup.

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