For a few days last week it was finally more like fall here. Now it's hot again but then we had chilly mornings, driving to work with the windows open, simply beautiful days. This summer was much more bearable than usual but I had given up doing anything that would heat up the kitchen. Fall is when I begin making one of the girls' favorites, Skillet Cornbread. It isn't the sweet, Northern kind I grew up on ... the kind you get when you use Jiffy Mix. This is classic Southern cornbread made with buttermilk and no sugar, in a cast iron skillet.
I know this recipe is one of James Villas' mother but am not sure which cookbook I got it from. I think it was from My Mother's Southern Kitchen. The original also had bacon fat but none of us liked the taste so I use straight shortening.
1-1/2 cups white cornmeal
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 475°. Combine ingredients.
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
Add to dry ingredients, combine well.
2 tablespoons shortening
Melt shortening in a 9-1/2" cast iron skillet. Pour hot fat into batter, stir well and pour batter back in skillet.
Bake for 20 minutes. Turn out onto large plate, cut into wedges and enjoy!