How to Make Grandma Pat’s Cornbread
Making cornbread like Grandma Pat’s is an art form and should be preserved. Learn to make it and pass it along to the next generation.
How to make Grandma Pat’s Corn Bread
Grandma’s cornbread is unlike any cornbread you’ve ever tasted. This article may look like a recipe, but it is much more. This story is about an art form that may be lost to current and future generations; you can preserve it. Grandma taught her daughters the art of making this cornbread. The story is also about loving hands always ready to make cornbread that will challenge the most discriminating palate.
You must follow the instructions precisely with no substitutions. You will need a 6-1/2 inch, 1-1/4 inch deep iron skillet, one cup of Tenda-Bake self-rising white corn meal (pure corn meal-no mixes), two-thirds cup of cultured low-fat buttermilk, one-third cup of Hollywood Enriched Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, and several cups of tender loving care.
Pour the safflower oil into the iron skillet and place it on your stovetop on medium heat until very warm. Do not overheat and burn the oil at any time during the process. While the oil is heating, pour the corn meal into a small mixing bowl and stir in the buttermilk. Pour half of the heated oil into the mix. Stir the oil into the mix and blend well. Then return the pan with remaining oil to the stove and reduce to low heat. Pour the mix into the heated skillet and cook until brown on one side. This only takes a few minutes.
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Carefully lift the edges of the corn bread with a metal spatula and check to see if the bottom side has browned; if it is browned, it’s ready to turn over. Flip the cornbread with the metal spatula and brown on the other side. Cut into quarters while in the pan and serve hot from the pan. You may slice the quartered pieces horizontally and add butter if you prefer, but you don’t need it. Serve with any meal, no matter how plain or fancy.
The 6-1/2 inch skillet works best, even if a little small. Make another batch if you like. You will not be able to flip the cornbread if you use a larger skillet. If you don’t have the iron skillet, it is available at the big box stores and perhaps at some of the smaller stores that carry cooking utensils. Season the iron skillet according to the instructions before you use it the first time. This is generally done with oil, but the instructions are included. Never wash the seasoned iron skillet with soap and water. It will be ruined and next time you make cornbread, it will stick. You can rinse the skillet with warm water and wipe with a paper towel.
The cornbread will not taste the same if baked, so don’t be tempted. This is fried corn bread and must be cooked on a stove-top burner. Be prepared to serve often; you will get requests for it. Follow these instructions exactly and with years of practice you may master the art of making Grandma Pat’s cornbread.