When I left home, my mom gave me a recipe box filled with tried and true family recipes. Each recipe that she thoughtfully wrote out by hand tells a story for me. I remember the cold winter evenings when we were warmed by hearty minestrone soup and cheese biscuits, and after dinner when we’d spread butter and homemade strawberry jam on the extra biscuits, still warm from the oven. I remember how we’d always have a fancy dinner on Sundays, like roast beef and yorkshire pudding. It was the one day of the week when we’d sit at the dining room table instead of in the kitchen. Sunday dinners were always followed by dessert like fruit crisp, brownie pudding, or grandma’s pumpkin pie. I remember how every Saturday morning my dad would make us pancakes with his homemade maple syrup (I still need to track down that syrup recipe from him!). These recipes hold the memories of my childhood and preserve our family traditions. Many of the recipes have been passed down through several generations, so when I make them I feel strongly rooted to my family tree. I can picture my mother or my grandmother preparing the same food, maybe while their children watched or helped, or even whined about having to eat that again. Even though I may have whined back then, I can now say that I cherish those recipes that my mother passed on to me. I see this blog as my own modern-day recipe box, my own way to preserve the memories of my family. I hope one day when my children are grown they might make some of these recipes for their own families and be reminded of home (and to call their mother now and then).
This cornbread recipe is one from that beloved recipe box. It’s on a very well-used index card in my mom’s handwriting. I’m not sure where it came from (maybe it was from an old magazine and not part of family history at all!), but I imagine my mom included it because she knew that everyone needs a good cornbread recipe in their repertoire. I used this one quite a bit as an accompaniment for chili. It’s also delicious after dinner or for a snack when served with jam or honey.
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk or soured milk
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8″ square pan. Combine dry ingredients in medium sized bowl. Combine wet ingredients separately. Stir wet mixture to the dry, mixing just enough to thoroughly combine. Spread into the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm.