Saturday January 2, 2013
No, I don’t eat doves. Can’t actually stand the thought of that. But I do feed them and other birds and an occasional squirrel outside my kitchen window, on the deck. Actually I feed anything that gets within 10 feet of me, ask my friends. We got a bit of snow last night with a layer of ice, which I discovered when I stepped out onto the very slick deck to feed the birds early this morning. My Mockingbird had already started his many songs sitting in the small tree outside my window. To remind me that it was time to eat. But back to the Covey, I think Mourning Doves have the most beautiful songs, and I have been gifted with a flock of them that hang out in the big oak tree in the back yard. This morning they have puffed up their feathers because of the cold. And they are eating like there is never going to be any food ever again. I locked the cats inside and sprinkled bird food on the driveway so they could flock and coo all they wanted. So beautiful! When they land and their wings are stretched out, the underneath is a beautiful grey blue color. Last year I fed them outside my bathroom window on the ledge, they never noticed I was behind the glass, their eyes have pale turquoise liner all the way around the edge and the feathers on their heads are iridescent.
All this cold weather makes me think of soup with cornbread. Really any kind of ho-made soup is fine with me, I love soup! But to make it special you need cornbread.
Cornbread, the only thing that has EVER pulled me off of a low carb diet, Geeze! I love it. I can make a meal of it with a glass of sweet milk (that’s regular milk to the non-southern folks). I am of the” NO-SUGAR in my cornbread” family. If you put sugar in it, its a corn muffin! My Granny did it without sugar and I do it that way too! I get it, about 50% of the people I talk to want sugar in their cornbread. They are not from here abouts as far as I can tell. It makes no sense to me. Why do you want sweetness in something that is going with savory food? If you want dessert put you some honey or sorghum on it after the main meal after you’ve melted a big pat of butter on it, but LEAVE the sugar OUT in the preparation part.
I have perfected my cornbread recipe over the years trying different brands of cornmeal and various oven temps and types of buttermilk, but I will have to say, this has resulted in the best cornbread I have ever tasted. I am supported in that notion by my loving family and friends who beg me to make it for them. If you make this you will never have “DRY”cornbread again!
I gave the recipe to my dear pretend boyfriend Nick from Alabama, and his lovely wife Leigh makes it for him often! As a matter of fact when their son Al went off to college the one thing he wanted for his 1st settin’ up house was Candace’s Cornbread Recipe!
I am going to give you the recipe right now, it is good with soup, with fried chicken, with any meal or by itself at 3:00 a.m. when you need a little something to tide you over until breakfast. YOU MUST DO IT EXACTLY AS I HAVE WRITTEN AND YOU WILL BE WILD OVER THIS CORNBREAD! I am going to even give you the brands I use because that’s important as well. If you don’t have access to these then please use the best quality you can find it only has 4 ingredients so it matters. Or come on down to the south and I’ll fix you some and send you home with some supplies.
Preheat Oven to 420 degrees (I know it sound’s hot, but this is a quick bread, they need hot and you want a crispy crust)
put 1 stick of salted butter(use real butter) in a 9″square or round pan, like a good heavy cake pan, if you have a 9″cast iron skillet you are gonna have an extra degree of wonderful, put it in that warming up oven to melt the butter. But keep an eye on it.
crack 2 large eggs (need I say fresh) in a med size ceremic bowl, I use Egglands Best eggs because they are the freshest I can find, as I no longer have a coop of my own, beat them up slightly with a fork.
Keep you eyes on the melting butter, you want it to brown slightly and sizzle but not burn!
Add 1 2/3 cups of fresh WHOLE buttermilk to the bowl (Purity Milk in the yellow carton is what I use) don’t use the 2% buttermilk its not as good. Beat that in good, I use a long tine fork.
Add 1 3/4 cup of White Lily Self Rising Buttermilk Cornbread Mix (flour is included in the mix so its lighter) it has GREEN writing on the front (they sell White Lily everywhere now so you should be able to find it, go ahead and get the 5 lb bag you’re gonna want to do this again) Mix that well until its smooth and thick about like pancake batter, if its too thick add more buttermilk. If it’s too thin add more cornmeal.
Check the butter, it should be browning and sizzling, if it burns throw it out and clean the pan and start again, burnt is gonna ruin the whole pan of cornbread. (yes I have burned the butter!) Once it has melted and browned carefully take it out of the oven, swirl it around the pan to coat the sides good and pour in into the bowl of batter, this is why you use a ceramic bowl, and it WILL sizzle when it hits, stir the butter into the batter good and pour the whole thing back in your pan.
Stick it back in that hot oven and it will rise and turn golden brown on top. As for how long you cook it, well… until it’s done. Generally about 15 to 20 minutes, but stoves vary so keep an eye out. Some folks (Nick) likes to turn his out onto a plate so the crust stays crisp, but let it cool a few minutes before you do that, this is really moist cornbread and you don’t want it to fall apart on you
Cut you a big old hunk, slap some butter on it, get a tall glass of cold sweet milk and sit by the window and watch the birds eat and play while your soup is cooking!
That is a good Saturday!
Oh and by the way an excellent writer friend of mine has a wonderful CD out called,
“A Decent Pan of Cornbread ” by Kory and Kelsey Wells. It is a recording of Kory performing her amazing poems with daughter Kelsey playing Fiddle and Banjo and Dobro and … Its a big hunk of cornbread with butter melting all over it!
Kory’s website is http://www.korywells.com