Monday, December 8, 2008

it's all in the cornbread

Listen up, Yankees. Yesterday I made a favorite childhood holiday food, CORNBREAD DRESSING. It was always called dressing and never stuffed into a turkey. In fact, I probably never saw a stuffed turkey until I grew up. And the gummy globby stuff that comes out of turkeys just doesn't please my palate.

I realize there are countless versions of dressings and stuffings and my daughter-in-love Jenny made a very tasty one over Thanksgiving.

But this Tennessee gal is transported to my grandmother's kitchen at the slightest whiff of cornbread baking in an iron skillet. (the first, most important step in cornbread dressing.)

Not the cake-like fascimile from a Jiffy box, noooooo! Southern cornbread is best made with stone-ground cornmeal, a very little flour, egg, salt, baking soda & powder and buttermilk. Note: No sugar! After a good mixing, the batter is turned into a piping hot iron skillet laced with a little bacon grease. It SIZZLES as it's poured into the skillet and popped into a hot oven.

The dressing is then made with the crumbled cornbread, some dried white bread, a beaten egg, boiled onions & celery and so much chicken broth that the dressing resembles a floating peat bog. (My staid grandfather insisted that an egg would ruin the family dressing, however my independent-minded grandmother always put one in. I thought that was very funny.) Bake and serve.

It doesn't get any better than that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the measurements!
what a hit
will be a staple on the holiday menu in the future - you're a true friend coming to my rescue
merry christmas!