Thursday, August 15, 2013

Photos of the Week

While driving around this weekend, I happen to go by a vacant lot that was covered in blooming teasel and there were HUNDREDS of butterflies!  I rushed home, grabbed my camera, and hurried back to take some photos of these beautiful creatures.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


When I was growing up, we had cornbread almost every night for supper and it was one of the first things that I learned to cook. Grandma Burnette had a stool in her kitchen that had two steps on the front of it and I would stand on that so that I could reach the counter to stir the cornbread after she put all of the ingredients into the bowl. As I got a bit older, she taught me to mix the ingredients myself.

One of our favorite ways to eat the cornbread was in milk & cornbread. My parents and grandparents would just crumble the bread into the milk and eat it with a spoon. I never really like it much like that, so I would dig the inside of the cornbread out, eat that, and then dip the crust into the milk.  I LOVED that!!!

Our favorite brand of cornmeal.
Produced at a mill in North Carolina.

When I went to elementary school, one of the lunches that we would be served consisted of pinto beans (nowhere near as good as what we fixed at home), stewed tomatoes (nasty no matter where they are cooked), and cornbread.  The cornbread at school was just gross. It was made of yellow cornmeal and had a hint of sweetness to it. (Cornbread isn't supposed to be yellow or sweet!)  I hated it! When they served that particular lunch at school, I was so sad because I would not eat any of it. Back then, the lunch menu was not posted in advance, so it was always a surprise! In fact, it was this lunch that finally convinced me that I just needed to pack a lunch each day, which I continued to do through high school.

My family always used this flour!
Produced at the same mill in North Carolina
as the cornmeal.

Our cornbread just had four ingredients plus water:

1.  About 1/2 bowlful of Tenda-Bake WHITE Cornmeal  (Yellow cornmeal is only suitable for animal food .  . . or that was the belief in my family and I have since learned that, in general, white cornmeal is traditionally a Southern thing while yellow cornmeal is a Northern thing.)
2.  A couple heaping tablespoons of Southern Biscuit Self-Rising Flour
3.  A splash of whole milk
4.  Enough water to make it the right texture

While mixing these ingredients together, there would be a cast iron frying pan in the oven with a couple pieces of streaky meat frying. If we happened to be out of streaky meat, we would use a spoonful of bacon grease. We had one particular frying pan that was used for nothing but cornbread. Once the cornbread was mixed up, we would take the pan out of the oven, remove the streaky meat, leaving the grease in the pan. Then we would tilt the pan this way and that to make sure that the grease coated the inside of the pan well and then poured the remaining hot grease into the batter, stirring it in really quickly. Then, we poured the batter into the frying pan and baked it until done at around 450F. 

Once the cornbread was done, we would turn it out on a plate and break off pieces to eat or to make milk & cornbread. We NEVER cut cornbread, because that would bring bad luck!  We always just broke off a piece with our hands.

Now, I am wanting some cornbread!

Oh yeah, and some of that streaky meat with the hard and chewy rind!

 Copyright 2013--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean