Sunday, January 4, 2015

a little "cast iron comfort" on Day 4

Is there anything better than warm crumbly cornbread slathered in butter and cooked in your grandmother's cast iron skillet?  Soul food.  Crusty and a little salty on the outside, soft and tender melt in your mouth goodness on the inside.  Is your mouth watering yet?

And the skillet, can we talk about that?  Well worn, heavy cast iron with that rich patina that only time and love and years and years of use can give it.  If you look behind the skillet you will see another much loved piece of cast iron.  I used to love it when my grandmother would cook cornbread in that pan.  Small cornbread sticks shaped like little ears of corn. My favorite part of cornbread is the outside and a corn stick is almost all crust. Perfect for dunking into vegetable soup...but that's a story for another day. :)

Food is memories, isn't it?  The taste and smell can bring back a flood of memories of people and places and traditions.  I grew up with very traditional southern coastal people have lived there a long time :).  Rice was the basis for every meal, lots of fresh seafood and vegetables brought back from my grandmother's garden in the country, and yes, fried food.  Soul food.  Every occasion and celebration revolved around food.  Sometimes food was even the reason for the celebration.  We laughed, cried, told stories, argued and shared life around the table.  And the more family members or friends, the better.  Cornbread is so much more than a side with soup, it's the summation of all the years of eating it with the people I love.  And this piece was no different.

At the end of this post, I included one of my favorite cornbread recipes that my grandmother, Noni, used to make. Enjoy!

"cast iron comfort"
6" x 12" oil on linen panel

I love the combination of rich colors in this little painting and the cool horizontal size of the canvas.  And by the way, cornbread is way easier to make than it is to paint!

Noni's Cornbread
1 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cup self rising yellow cornmeal
1 cup creamed corn
2 eggs
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup oil
pinch of salt
1/4 of a stick of butter

Put butter in cold cast iron skillet and put skillet on middle rack of oven.  Preheat oven to 400.  When oven is preheated take out skillet and swirl the melted butter around in skillet to coat the sides and bottom.

Combine sour cream, cornmeal, creamed corn, eggs, baking powder, oil and salt in mixing bowl and stir until combined.  Pour into hot skillet and bake 20 minutes or until golden.

Slice and slather with butter and enjoy!


Jerry Stocks said...

Not only do I love the painting, but I also love all the commentary. And the recipe is exactly like one my grandmother would have made. She was another "stick of butter" per recipe.

Nancy Darling Handler said...

Fabulous post! The painting is gorgeous and makes my mouth water! Also: thanks for the ymmy sounding recipe!

SamDoum said...

MMMmmmmmm! Yum! Love this painting, Dotti!