It is said that a recipe starts with a list of ingredients. I would not agree. A recipe starts with a yummy thought of eating something that brings pleasure to the senses. Anyway. that's how it starts in my world. I think about the yummyness (I know this is a made up word. It doesn't look right if I change the y to an i, so forgive me) of cornbread and how it comforts my senses. It gives the sense that time is forever the "now feeling" of being in a warm kitchen with the smells of corn and vegetables lingering as they are slowly absorbed from my nose to my gut. If you know what I mean, you are more than ready for the list of ingredients below and a few words for the how to part...
As seen you'll need an iron skillet smothered in vegetable shortening. Yes, you can still buy this at the store, (Crisco makes it) in the south anyway.
In a bowl, put 2 cups of White Lily: Enriched White Cornmeal Mix, Self-Rising. The recipe is on the side of the package (except the part under the first picture, which is a southern secret). You can substitute but don't complain if your cornbread doesn't look like the last picture. The package does say "Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray." No doubt someone paid them to put it there. See note in parenthesis for recommendations by this "Army Brat" that found the best tasting cornbread makers to get this yum written down. You will also need 1 egg, 1/4 c. vegetable oil, and 1 1/2 c. Buttermilk. Buttermilk makes the best bread. Milk is a second best, because it's better than no cornbread. But Buttermilk really does make the best bread.
Stir all the ingredients with a fork. Allow the mixture to be somewhat lumpy. Pour this into the iron skillet. There is a debate if you need to put the iron skillet in the oven while it preheats or pour the batter into a cold skillet. Both methods work well. I prefer the heated pan because I love the thin crusted edge it makes all around the bottom of the bread.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minuets, give or take 5-10 minutes. And oh, that does look like a good beginning for some cornbread. I just might have to make some more after writing and viewing this post. Shear yum. The peas are from the garden and are cooking while the bread cooks. Below, the bread is cut so you can view the bottom of the bread on the left and the piece to the right is how the top side of the bread looks. How the bread tastes is left for you to describe after you make some of your own. Within the next week I promise to extend this blog with another post using this cornbread recipe as the start to cornbread dressing. I have always loved dressing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, I had no idea how much more I would love dressing when I moved south and had cornbread dressing. It's not hard to make once you can make cornbread. And it is beyond good to eat. (Keep your eye out for some fresh Sage to use in the next recipe of cornbread dressing.)