Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Taste of Franklin County, Virginia

Cornbread Posted by Picasa
"Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts." ~ James Beard (1903-1985)
Hot cornbread fresh from the oven, baked in the old, heavy, black cast iron skillet; slap on a dollop of butter and a drizzle of clover honey and you have a mouth full of delight. This recipe is from the cookbook Another Taste of Franklin County; Mom bought it at an old country store in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Since it is titled "Another Taste" I must presume that there is another cookbook probably called A Taste of Franklin County; but don't tell my mom. She will try to find it as well and we certainly don't need any more cookbooks in this house.

Oh, yes! I suppose you want the recipe. OK. But, there is one small problem. They left out one ingredient in the list of ingredients; the milk or to be more exact, the buttermilk. Milk is noted in the instructions but not the amount. So you'll have to just add until it "looks right" according to her. For those of you like Kimberly, this is no problem at all. For those of you like me, the "cooks only the essentials for life" group; it is a major problem. I will ask her if she remembers how much buttermilk she used and tack it on at the end; just don't count on her knowing for certain.

(Post is continued, click "read more" below to see the recipe.)
by Ibby Elkins

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar, or to taste
2 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
3 Large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

(Mom threw in 1/4 teaspoon or what she calls a pinch of baking soda.
And about that buttermilk. She said, "I started with 1 cup but that was not enough so I just kept adding until it was the right consistency, slightly runny. Probably at least 1 1/2 cups total.")

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter well an 8-inch square baking pan. In a bowl, sift flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and butter. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined, and pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Invert onto the rack and let cool to warm. Cut into squares and serve.
Of course we didn't make it to that cool down cycle. It came out of the oven, was cut immediately and onto the plates with melting butter and sticky honey quick to follow. This is one of the best, softest, melt-in-your-mouth cornbread recipes she has ever made. Ibby Elkins, you did yourself proud....with a little help from my mom.

Submission for See It Sunday topic "bread". (end of post)

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