Days Gone By - stories from the past

Do you know what type bread is older than our Country?

CORN BREAD

By

Inez McCollum

Corn bread is older than our country. Native Americans were making corn bread when the settlers came to America.  Through the years, it has changed tremendously. The Native Americans made corn bread from a simple mixture of water, salt and cornmeal. Various sweeteners were added for northern corn bread.  The south tended to steer clear of the sweetened corn bread.cornbread over old fire


During the civil war corn bread was plentiful and cheap. In later years, farming families fed both family members and live stock this staple item. Because of the variety of corn grown through out  North America, corn bread differed by region. The northern regions favored yellow corn and the south preferred white corn. A blue corn was popular in the southwest.cornbread

Songs have been written about cornbread. In 1949 “Beans and Corn Bread” was performed by Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five.

Later, the Dave Matthews Band performed “Cornbread”. Beans and corn bread became the traditional pre-launch meal at NASA. Cornbread became the official state bread of Alabama last March. (Please note that the bread is two words and/or one word in everything I read about our Southern Comfort Food.)

By changing a few ingredients or method of cooking, you can make Broccoli Cornbread, Jalapeno Cornbread, stuffing, corn pone, corn fritters, corn muffins, hush puppies and even Italian Polenta. A friend, who at one time catered meals, gave methe following recipe several years ago:

YEAR’S BEST CORNBREAD

1 cup self-rising meal

1 cup sour cream

1 cup cream style corn

1/2 cup oil

1 teas. salt

3 eggs

Mix all ingredients together. Put in a well greased pan. (NOTE: a cast-iron skillet like this is best) Bake at 400-425 until done (15-20 minutes).

 

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About Inez McCollum

Inez McCollum grew up in Etowah County.  Married Mack McCollum, a BI-vocational minister.  Moved to Birmingham to work while he worked and went to Howard College/Samford University.  Inez and Mack had three sons, Jay, Joe and John.  They bought their first home in what is now Hoover.  Inez continues to be active in Shades Mountain Baptist Church and some of the civic organizations in Hoover.  Inez also enjoys reading, travel and spending time with friends.

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13 comments

  1. Rose Ream

    My Granny made the best cornbread in the world!!!

  2. Dee Shultz

    My family is from the south…..LOVE cornbread. Especially in a glass with buttermilk poured over it. THAT was my “fast food snack” while growing up.

  3. Alabama Pioneers

    The most important rule is sugar has no business in cornbread

    1. Regina Poole

      Amen!!!!!!!!!!!! NO SUGAR IN CORNBREAD!!!!!!!!!

  4. Georgia Maud Miller

    My mom put sugar in her corn bread…

  5. Phillis Johnson

    Amen no sugar in my cornbread if you please and it must be cooked in a well seasoned cast iron skillet. I use my grandmothers cast iron skillet. Nothing like using heirloom cast iron that is close to 100 years old. I also have her cast iron bean pot. There’s nothing like pinto beans slow cooked in cadt iron. I gave my daughters each a skillet from their great grannie. Four generations have grown up cooking with these. Money couldn’t buy them or the memories.

    1. Alabama Pioneers

      heirloom cast iron skillet = priceless

  6. Indians made cornbread before we ever came to the Colonies. It was cooked on hot rocks and used for spoons, soping up food. Some variations were also wrapped in leaves and cooked in ashes. Some forms of cornmeal are boiled in water and called mush-add butter and honey.

  7. You forgot about crackling cornbread! It is to die for!

  8. Mark Ellsworth

    I remember the first time i eat sweeten cornbread thought it was some kind of cake LOL

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