Now, I will eat most cornbreads put in front of me. A little sweetness beyond what the corn brings can be a good thing with certain foods. Cookbook author Pam Anderson (no, not THAT Pam Anderson - THIS Pam Anderson) adds a teaspoon of sugar to her cornbread recipe, explaining that it enhances the corn flavor. I can live with that. I enjoy the famous corn cakes from McCabe Pub, which have corn kernels in them if memory serves. I know that lots of people like to load up their cornbread with chiles or peppers.
When I make cornbread, though, I go back to basics and make my Mama's Georgia cornbread. The recipe couldn't be simpler, and it's been engraved on my brain since I was a wee one.
Barbara Ferrell's Georgia Cornbread1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup self-rising white cornmeal / cornmeal mix*
Preheat oven to 500. Generously grease a medium (about 8-inch) cast iron skillet** with shortening, bacon grease, or vegetable oil. Put the skillet in the oven to heat while you mix the batter.
Combine the egg & buttermilk. Gently stir in the cornmeal and mix until just moistened; it's ok if there are still a few lumps. When the fat in the skillet is rocket-hot, remove the skillet from the oven and pour in the batter. (Be careful, it may sizzle and spatter a bit.) Return pan to oven and bake until top starts to brown, 10 to 12 minutes usually. Invert the bread onto a plate immediately and slice into wedges. Serve piping hot with plenty of butter.
White Lily girl, but Martha White is OK if you must. If self-rising cornmeal/mix isn't available in your area, you can make your own: http://www.food.com/recipe/self-risi...eal-mix-254874
** If you don't have a cast iron skillet of the appropriate size, of course you can use any similar-size pan you have on hand. You just want to use the sturdiest pan possible so it can take the preheating, and make sure it's not non-stick or have plastic parts that aren't suitable for the high oven temp. If you want to use a muffin tin, or have a corn pone pan, just start checking for doneness about halfway through the stated baking time.