Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cam's Cornbread

We made this cornbread for Cornbread Suppers a few times, inspired by a sweet remembrance and a delightful recipe in Mountain Promise, the newsletter of the Brushy Fork Institute in Berea, Kentucky. The cornbread is good.

Then it turned out the recipe should have included an egg or two. We tried that - also good.

Here is the recipe as originally printed. If you make this, with or without egg, you help build the truth that "Cam's cornbread lives on."

Cam’s Cornbread

First, you need a big iron skillet, well seasoned so it’s smooth as a baby’s butt and always carries a
light sheen of oil. For best results, never wash your cast-iron skillet in detergent, which strips out
the oil. Instead, scour it with paper towels and salt, then oil it.

Next, you need the coarsest cornmeal you can get your hands on. It’s best if it has chunks as big
or bigger around as a #2 pencil lead. That’s what gives it the crunch! Cam would have his meal
ground by a local farmer and stand there until he got the grind just right.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

In a bowl, mix two cups of meal, two teaspoons of baking powder, a teaspoon of salt, and enough
buttermilk to make a stiff batter—about one and a quarter cups.

Throw a spoonful of the cornmeal in the skillet, along with three or four tablespoons of oil.
Heat the skillet on the range (preferably gas) on high until the corn starts to brown up. Get that oil
good and hot!

Now pour in the batter and put the skillet in the oven.

Take it out when it’s brown on top—won’t take long, maybe fifteen minutes give or take, depending
on your oven.

If your skillet is well seasoned, you can just turn it over on a cutting board when it comes out of the
oven, and the whole pone should fall right out. Enjoy!

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