Days Gone By - stories from the past

Did people from Selma break the Ten Commandments of cornbread in 1870?

I recently ran across these two recipes from Selma, Alabama in 1870 that added molasses and sugar. Was this the way it was made in Selma? Did they break the TEN COMMANDMENTS OF SOUTHERN CORNBREAD?


(Transcribed from The Times-Argus, Selma, Alabama January 27, 1870)


Take three pints of cornmeal, one-half pint wheat or rye flour, two tablespoonful molasses, one do. of saleratus, a teaspoonful of salt; mix with sweet milk, (not too hard.) which makes about a two quart basin full, which basin put in a kettle or pot, over a fire, and steam three hours: place the basin on a board or sticks above the water, and add water as it boils away; keep the kettle covered, then cook in oven till brown.


Take two quarts corn meal, add one large spoonful of butter one of sugar, a little salt; mix all together; pour upon the whole one quart of boiling water; then cool with cold water sufficiently to add one-half cup of good yeast. Let it rise for two hours, when add wheat flour; (if the dough is not thick enough.) so as to give it the consistency of “proud cake.” Put it into deep dishes, let it rise for one hour. Bake in a stove oven. You will find it delicious.

Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past 

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Don’t know but I grew up eating molasses like honey and added to things for a change up

  2. Well back then they used cornbread like a cake. And put chocolate gravy and other things on top. Like they done biscuits.

  3. I remember my dad talking about eating corn bread and syrup ,I do not put sugar in my cornbread.

  4. We never put sugar or molasses in our cornbread batter or biscuit dough, but dipped up lots of honey, sorghum, molasses or golden egal syrup with them. And we did have buttered biscuits with sugar in them. mmmmmmm good

  5. My granny always put a little of Golden Eagle in hers.

  6. I make cornbread with pumpkin purée and honey sometimes. It’s really good.

  7. My mother always used corn mill, flour and butter milk or water if we had no milk greased pan. Nothing else and for damn sure not eggs!!!!

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